Leyton Orient fan's view: Disgraceful attendance for side challenging for promotion (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic fan's view
It would be churlish to say that we had blown our promotion hopes after last night’s Oldham draw.
As devastating as the result was, it was a relief to see that Brentford had slipped up at Rotherham and who knows, Oldham – who host the Bees on Saturday – could well do us a favour by boosting their survival hopes.
Although conceding so late was galling enough, the supporters were rather quiet and in front of the lowest crowd of the season, the onus seemed to fall on the players to create the atmosphere.
But, just over 3,500 in attendance for a team still in with a shout of promotion was nothing short of disgraceful. If we do go up at the end of the season then our hardcore attendances will have to go up, or a term in the Championship would surely be unsustainable with such gates.
Ranting aside, Tuesday’s game showed once again – and how many times has that been the case – that the division is so tight. For many passages of play, it would have been difficult to differentiate between the two sides – the one pushing for promotion and the other fighting to stave off relegation.
And, Oldham have a good record against us, both home and away. After all, they ended our 100 per cent away record back in October and they nicked points off us at the Matchroom both last season and the one before.
Therefore, Lee Johnson’s side proved they were no mugs and on another night Charlie MacDonald comes on and manages to finish off one of his two presentable chances and we’re none the wiser.
Then, thinking we might have nicked a close-run victory, up steps Korey Smith with an admittedly stunning volley and showing an exquisite piece of skill into the bargain and breaks the majority of crowd’s hearts.
We did have chances to finish off our struggling visitors, but they would quite justifiably cite that they had a hatful of opportunities. On reflection a draw was probably a fair result.
By the same token, it will still take a brave punter to bet against the promotion race not reaching a thrilling finale and there are certainly going to be more twists and turns in what could be one of the most gripping scraps ever.
The story continues on Saturday and again we have another chance to exert pressure on our closest rivals. Bradford certainly won’t roll over, but the ball is firmly in our court.
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s.
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