Leyton Orient v Crawley Town fan's view

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Moses Odubajo's goal was in vain for the O's: Simon O'Connor Moses Odubajo's goal was in vain for the O's: Simon O'Connor

What a shocker last Saturday. Undoubtedly one – if not – the poorest performance of the season.

The form going into this match was not good – three draws – two of them against lowly sides in the division.

But, when Moses Odubajo opened the scoring I really did believe we would go on and claim our first win for a month and the first home league success since late October.

The conditions weren’t the best – necessitating a late pitch inspection. The state of the pitch – arguably at its worst so far this season seemed to play into the hands of the opposition who unfortunately were very effective on the break especially former loanee, Nicky Adams who gave Scotty Cuthbert at torrid time at right back.

However, it was the Ghost of Christmas Past – aka Gary Alexander – who opened their scoring after losing his marker and should have netted from the spot. Our defence was then at its sloppiest when Crawley were given another early Xmas present with Andy Drury reacting quickest and having the easiest of tap-ins from the fluffed spot kick.

At 2-1 down we were not down and out but to concede so close to the break is always a body blow and the form we showed in the opening half hour was never repeated after the restart.

A goal in arrears is always retrievable, but to concede such a shocking third goal – playing your way out of defence on a slippery surface is never a good idea – and our chief tormentor Adams netted with arguably the goal of the game.

There was then a worrying raggedness about the team as we chased at least some consolation and three could have become a damning third had Nathan Clarke not managed to make a spectacular clearance.

At least Marvin Bartley’s late effort gave some respectability to the scoreline, top marks to him for coming on and putting in a shift even in vain, but I just hope this defeat is the end of a rather worrying slump – three points out of a possible 12 is definitely not promotion form.

At least we go into Christmas and three tough games still top of the tree and it could be worse, but I just hope we don’t do a ‘Tranmere’ and completely fade out of the running come the new year.

But, perhaps if we are to mount a serious promotion bid the paucity of quality when you remove the likes of Coxy, Mooney and to a lesser extent Omozusi, from the equation, is there for all to see – the squad needs strengthening.

Critics would have been citing our small squad as a likely reason for our mid-season stutter, but also that Moses appears to be attracting more attention from defenders and everyone in the division likes to topple the leaders. We’re there to be shot down and I’m afraid that is exactly what is happening.

But, having been in the top two for the first 21 games, anything lower than that would be regarded as second best. It had been stated that the play-offs was the club’s start-of-season aim, but I would regard just aiming for such a lottery would be a backward step.

Up the O’s,

Keep the faith.


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