Monday, 26 December 2016

Leyton Orient 3 v Crawley Town2

Spur-of-the-moment decision this morning to take a game in. I couldn't face watching Charlton so it had to be a game in London and one where I could pay on the day. Orient at home and kicking off at 1pm, so no-brainer.

I was there inside an hour and it looked very much like I was the only pay-on-the-day customer when I walked into the ticket office. The girl behind the desk looked bored rigid and handed me a ticket from below the desk which made it look like there was only one left. Thought £24 was a bit steep for League Two but it didn't include any walk-up surcharge.

Anyway, I took my place behind the home goal and sat down to enjoy an excellent first-half where the O's really tore into Crawley and had them on the rack for the first thirty minutes. It was great to see two wingers playing in tandem and at pace. Massey on the right caused allsorts of problems and Sandro Semedo on the left fed the ball back into the box on numerous occasions. I have really missed this sort of home performance. We haven't managed to play like this for years and I have been putting it down to the relatively increasing competitiveness of Championship football and our general decline.

Both O's front men scored in the opening period. First Sam Dolby headed home from six yards and then McCallum swept in a second from the same spot. They could have had a third before a penalty on the stroke of half-time should have ended the match as a contest. McCallum stroked home for three as I made my way down for  pie.

I was fully expecting five as I retook my seat but Crawley really made a game of it in the second-half. The O's were clearly defending a lead but when they came under pressure they looked shaky. Both full-backs, Judd and Hunt struggled to contain Crawley's wide-men and Cisak in goal began to flap a little, especially after the visitors pulled one back. Orient didn't take the hint and it took a second after 78 minutes before they really came out again looking for a fourth. Semedo cut in from the left on the overlap and might have scored but his drive was well held by Morris in the Crawley goal. Crawley finished with a flourish but their 295 fans left disapointed as the O's held on.

The gate was 4,486 which looked much better in their compact stadium and I am pretty sure there were not the thousands of comps given out as at Charlton. I could never follow another club like I have done Charlton, but it was good to know I haven't completely lost my love for football.

Home to coupon-busting news that another Ademola Lookman goal took the points against MK Dons and against the perceived wisdom, especially anyone  who has suffered either of the last two Charlton showings, although we weren't much better by all accounts. In addition to sorting the engine room out, Duchatelet will need to sanction a decent replacement for Lookman when he moves out next month.

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