Writer: Matt Diner
Date:Sunday January 13 2008
By Alan Chandler
What can you say about this Orient team? We got a real hammering and yet there are still good signs about our lads.
Firstly, we must realise that if we are to progress up the leagues, into The Championship for example, then Forest is the kind of team, with the kind of support and financial backing, with the kind of quality, time on the ball and ability to put their chances away, we are going to meet.
In League 2 and against some League 1 sides, you can get away with slips and the opposition will fluff them. Not however Forest, for whom Matt Lockwood played impeccably, and who surely will go on to better things?
In the very first minute, Gray was away but seemed to lack the confidence to attempt a shot on goal. Then Thornton hit a beautiful free kick which the Forest goalie had difficulty in pushing over the bar. He (Thornton) then hit a screamer which had the goalie beaten all ends up, only to see the ball hit a post and crash back into play. From the away end, frustratingly, it looked a goal all the way.
In the first half hour, for once, the O`s didn`t carelessly give the ball away as I`ve seen them do so often this season.
In these first 30 minutes, we had more chances and were marginally the better team, attacked with vigour and often looked dangerous. The home crowd was quiet and had to put up with jibes from the away end about them 'not being famous any more...`.
Notice, no mention of Forest up to yet.
Then on half an hour, we went to sleep and let Forest take a short corner, continued in this sleepy manner and allowed them cross the ball and there`s Holt - of all people - nodding past Nelson. Heads dropped.
We survived for the last part of the half but could just as easily have conceded another. All this after having looked so good for much of the first half. The first goal in any match is important and so this one proved to be.
Ling made no changes at half time. Within two minutes of the restart, both Gray and then Barcham had one-on-ones with the goalie and both failed to score. Barcham`s was the more difficult but Gray`s miss was a bad one.
Up race Forest, out comes Nelson, down goes their forward; result penalty! We got caught out and left the back door open. Of course, the whole defence complained to the officials but, from our end, it looked a clear cut penalty. Thankfully Nelson was only booked.
He seemed to get a hand to the spot kick but 2-0 it became and an uphill task then ensued.
So, 2-0 and it could easily have been 1-1. Orient attacked for all they were worth but Forest took it all and always looked dangerous when they counter attacked. It was no surprise when they went on to score more.
It was then I realised that that little pest Junior Agogo wasn`t in the Forest line-up and the thought occurred it might have been worse had he not been away at The African Nations` Cup!
Forest are a good team. They stroke the ball around and across the pitch with some aplomb. A sort of Crewe Alexandra with a purpose.
Their scouts had obviously done their homework on the O`s. No-one was really able to dwell on the ball in the second half and were closed down very quickly. This meant balls continually past back to Nelson whose only move was to hoof the ball up to our rather small forwards (Gray was taken off to leave two midgets; the ineffective Echanomi and Barcham).
Result, Forest quickly regained the ball. They then ran the game, whilst Orient ran out of ideas.
I am sure the backbone of the O`s team would survive in The Championship, however there are a few players in important positions who won`t make it there, not with the O`s nor anyone else come to that.
Ling must know who they are (we all do) and the quicker changes can be implemented, the better. It`s the way of the world. This season isn`t lost yet. There`s time enough.
A pity when you consider we did well in the first part of this game with plenty of inter passing skill and chances. Indeed, looking back, it wouldn`t surprise me to see that the O`s had more chances throughout the entire game.
We just didn`t turn them into goals, whilst Forest did and with some ease.
Coming home, my lad and I had our tails between our legs. This was the biggest defeat he`s seen O`s suffer (I don`t dare mention mine).
Nonetheless, he said, he`d still watch them even if it were in The Conference (he`s coming up 24 - that`s my boy). I didn`t care to tell him when I was his age, the talk among supporters wasn`t so much the looming Conference when we`d lost heavily, more Hackney Marshes. So, in that regard, progress of sorts.
Date:Sunday January 13 2008
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|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||7||71|
|8. MK Dons||46||19||13||14||17||70|
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