Writer: Jenny K
Date:Wednesday March 23 2011
Tues 22nd March/19:45
An injury time penalty from Scott McGleish earned Orient a frustrating point in a dire draw on Tuesday evening.
On a night short of any footballing quality on the pitch, Orient waited till the very last minute to grab a deserved equaliser after Paul-Jose Mpoku was fouled in the box.
The game itself deserved very little credit as a spectacle but neither team played well and in the end a share of the points was the only fair outcome.
To try and start on a slightly positive note, the game was better than the 2-0 defeat Orient suffered at Dagenham earlier in the season. Their wasn't much improvement but we got a point, in a game that followed a similarly disappointing and frustrating pattern as the last encounter.
Orient were looking for a win on the back of their first defeat in 15 games against Brentford on Saturday. Despite being near the bottom, Dagenham & Redbridge had put a nice little run together to give themselves a chance of survival.
Possibly with Saturday's defeat and the busy schedule in mind, Russell Slade decided to bring some fresh legs into the starting line-up. Tehoue and Kane started upfront whilst Chambers made a welcome return to the centre of midfield.
And Orient started brightly, Dean Cox in particular finding pockets of space in the midfield to exploit, leading to two long-range efforts in the first few minutes that only narrowly missed the goal.
But the O's encouraging start was wiped out in the 12th minute when Dagenham's Danny Green (by far and away their best player) got to the ball quicker than Jamie Jones and knocked the ball into an empty net.
Despite being a goal down Orient were trying to play their passing game, something that gave the O's the majority of the possession but reaped little reward in the final third.
Dagenham, for all their hard work, showed very little. Their seemed to have bursts of pace in attack but as a footballing side they seem to grind you down, battering away at any creative spirits until we gave up and started hitting it long onto the head of their defenders.
And whilst that did work for them in terms of a game plan, it nullifies any chance of watching an entertaining or exciting game of football.
Orient's best chance of the first-half fell to Tehoue, who with one swing of his boot only found Tony Roberts in goal and highlighted just why he must start from the bench.
The half-time whistle was met by boos as the players departed. Whilst I don't always agree with booing teams, it was a fair reflection on the first 45 minutes of last night's game.
As fans of the club, we have a right to show our displeasure at a performance when we spend the money and time supporting a team.
But the jeering of players, in particular Jamie Jones, during the first-half was pointless and disrespectful to the hard work the whole team have put in this season.
Jones was mainly getting jeered for his hesitation with goal kicks and the reliance on playing it out from the back.
Whilst it was not just Jones' fault, last night does raise some concerns about the way we play, starting at the back with the goalkeeper.
I am always in favour of passing the ball rather than whacking it long and losing possession but we seemed to want to do this constantly last night. Every time Jones' had the ball he looked to roll the ball to a defender and start from the back.
But whilst this is good if it works, Dagenham (and I fear most of the league) have now sussed how we play and are pressing us so much on the ball it is forcing mistakes or players to simply roll back to Jones.
We must keep to how we play, look to pass and move the ball but there must be a plan B, which is something we severely lacked last night.
The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, Dagenham were doing their job and we had little answer to it. Dean Cox crafted the best opportunity of the game for Orient, magically dribbling past three defenders only to be denied by the sometimes spectacular, sometimes unpredictable Tony Roberts.
Our attempted revival was not helped by losing Charlie Daniels just before the hour mark. After a few nasty knocks on the ankle Daniels departed, to be replaced by Jason Crowe. I hope his injury is not serious because Daniels has been one of the star players so far this season.
The game looked to edging away from Orient and the away side should have made sure of that five minutes before the end when Marvin Morgan somehow knocked wide from Jon Nurse's low cross.
MPoku and McGleish had arrived on the pitch as subs earlier in the second period and both had a part in Orient's late late equaliser.
With what seemed like only seconds remaining Mpoku got in front of his man and Femi Ilesanmi only managed to wrestle Mpoku to the ground right in front of the goal.
The referee pointed to the spot immediately, sent off the defender (two of few things he got right on the night) and McGleish stepped up to cooly finish.
I experienced a funny mix of relief and frustration at the final whistle, our higher league standing meaning I was equally annoyed but pleased with the final result after watching a terrible game of football.
It reminded me of a game more suited to previous O's seasons, a frustrating encounter between two relegation threatened sides. But luckily for Orient that isn't the case, though our performance was no endorsement for being 7th in the league.
However, when in previous seasons our heads would drop and we would give in to defeat, we kept going last night for the full 95 minutes and got the reward.
That was the main positive of the evening, the team's ability to carry on going to the final whistle based on a spirit and belief amongst this group of players.
It wasn't pretty in the slightest but the point gives us something to build on ahead of Saturday's game against Yeovil, a game I wouldn't have been looking forward too half as much on the back of two defeats.
Leyton Orient: Jones; Whing, Omozusi, Barrett, Daniels (Crowe 58); Chambers (Mpoku 72), Dawson, Spring, Cox; Kane, Téhoué (McGleish 64)
Dagenham: Roberts; Ogogo, Doe, Arber, Ilesanmi; Green, Vincelot, Gain, Scannell (Ifil 90+2); Nurse, Savage (Morgan 72)
Date:Wednesday March 23 2011
Yeovil Win Play-Off To Complete League 1 Line Up (Sunday May 19 2013)
Orient To Play Bradford Next Season (Saturday May 18 2013)
Vincelot Misses Out On Player Of The Month (Friday May 17 2013)
Slade - Getting Closer With Mooney & Vincelot (Thursday May 16 2013)
Transfer Rumour - Ricky Holmes (Thursday May 16 2013)
Transfer Rumour - Raffaele De Vita (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Vincelot Nominated For Player Of The Month (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Orient Continue Judicial Review (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Vital Orient Player Of The Season - Results (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Word On The Tweet - O's Rumour Mill (Monday May 13 2013)
|Leyton Orient||2||-||0||MK Dons|
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||7||71|
|8. MK Dons||46||19||13||14||17||70|
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