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Leyton Orient v Walsall fan's view
The O’s 100 per cent record obviously had to come to an end sometime – but it was a frustrating afternoon when we just didn’t seem to get going.
Only a mistake from an otherwise faultless visiting keeper gave us a much-needed break. But, to be fair, it seemed as if we were running on empty after a quite an intense start to the season, with perhaps the Brentford win taking too much out of our sails.
But, you couldn’t fault the commitment – sometimes over-exuberant – that probably lead to Romain Vincelot - perhaps predictably - getting red carded given his combative nature and a yellow card soon after their dismissal. It was unnecessary to the point of wondering why Marvin Bartley wasn’t given a late run out and no doubt save the combative Vincelot for next weekend’s trip to Boundary Park.
I had even thought we got out of jail when we squeezed past an impressive Port Vale only two weeks beforehand. Had a late free-kick gone in, then we might have been staring defeat in the face – but it hit the bar and a last-gasp Lisbie winner ultimately proved crucial.
However, no such luck on Saturday against a side that adjusted well after Andy Butler’s controversial dismissal. Some might say their player got the ball, but you can’t just dive in with the hope of winning possession. The intent seemed there as a battle had been ensuing before that awful challenge on Vincelot.
Packing out the midfield – and with former Orient favourite – Adam Chambers – pulling the strings – the Saddlers seemed to have the measure of our desire to play passing football via the centre of the park.
And, so it proved to be a ‘smash ‘n grab’ raid when their only decent effort of the afternoon – courtesy of some uncharacteristically sloppy defending if you use our general back-four performances of late as a guide. The ball – in what you call ‘second phase’ - then crosses the goal line from the easiest chance their striker will probably ever have in his career.
But, the ‘Doom and Gloom’ merchants will have to remain in shadows just for now, as I am sure we can put this minor blip behind us. Admittedly, there will be no Vincelot at Oldham this Saturday, so it will give someone a chance to stake a claim for that central midfield berth.
Lee Johnson’s Latics have made an indifferent start to the season and will be wanting to pick up points to climb the table.
So, it should make for an entertaining, attacking clash and one that might be too close to call – however – and perhaps a point might be all we manage given our form at Boundary Park over the years.
But, who wouldn’t bet against us still being top of the tree come 4.45pm next Saturday?
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s.
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