You’ve seen it all before, you’ve seen it a thousand times. Perhaps words to a song, but it’s beginning to sound like a broken record when Leyton Orient roll up in town.
A la Hartlepool and Scunthorpe, it’s the old scenario of when the O’s are in town and the home side need a win. Then at the final whistle, similar to what has happened all too frequently this season, it’s embarrassing when the struggling hosts think they’ve won the World Cup when they see out the game to claim maximum points.
And, so it was the case at New Layer Road on Saturday against a side that might still go down, but didn’t we give their survival hopes a shot in the arm?
Critics might say – certainly the first-half – was no more than case of ‘after you Claude’ when the opposition was seemingly attacking at will. It did appear worrying as to when and how we would stop the rot after Gavin Massey and Drey Wright had put the U’s in the driving seat with two goals in four first-half minutes.
It also beggars belief that why do the opposition need to score before we start playing? It would be hard to single anyone out for praise after a poor first half, but at least Kevin Lisbie tried to get us a foothold and once the his effort hit the back of the net, then it seemed just a matter of time that we would go on and wrap the game up.
And, despite the home side creating chances after the break – with Jabo Ibhere especially wasteful - it was the O’s who could – and should have returned to the capital with at least a point.
This was certainly the case when Bradley Garmston stuck out a leg and clumsily floored the industrious Shaun Batt; from then on. It would have taken a brave punter to bet against Lisbie missing from only 12 yards.
But, with some might say a ‘back pass’ of a penalty, Colchester had obviously done their homework on our top scorer’s penalty patterns and got lucky. But, how can you really knock someone who has been so good for us when he’s been fit?
On another day that ‘casual’ spot kick might have gone in and the O’s could have been celebrating another away success, if we had managed to press home our advantage.
Instead, this result leaves us four points adrift of what is arguably a seemingly mission impossible to sixth spot given the fact that those sides above us in the frame have games in hand.
But hope springs eternal although I would fully expect us to be returning to Colchester next season as they might well avoid the drop.
It might well go to the wire at both ends of the table, so we should just be thankful that we have saved some of best performances for the better sides in the division and that we are not ensconced in a relegation dogfight. It could be worse!
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s.