There was yet more misery for Leyton Orient and their fans last night with them falling to their lowest league position in just over 17 ½ years. I make it Orient last sat bottom of the football league in November 1999 after a 3-1 defeat to Darlington but last night after Newport’s win, the O’s slumped to 92nd position in the Football League.
It was Orient last away game before their winding up order is heard in court on Monday but what remains is a club on its last legs. A team made up of kids and some experienced players crumbled to a Stanley side in similar fashion to the rest of the season. A goal just before half time and one just after the break – both from set pieces ended Orient’s hope of gaining points – a story of the season.
Sean McConville curled in a brilliant third before the winger spotted Charlie Grainger off his line, the ball cannoned off the bar onto Grainger’s head and in. Matty Pearson slotted home his second in added time to send Orient to their 23rd defeat of another horrendous season.
Danny Webb looked absolutely distraught when he got on the team bus post match, “his lowest night in football”. It’s hard to see past anything but relegation out of the football league, a team which has been on a continued downward spiral since August 2014. A squad full of kids who are having their careers in the game severely dented.
These kids should be playing conference football gaining first team football and a experience of playing against men. And before you say it “they probably will be next year”, experience is key at this level but so is the leadership on the pitch which has been lacking for much of the season.
The banner in the away end summed up Orient “Orient. 1881 Our Club” that is what needs to be brought back to the club that so many love. It is gut wretching being in the away end seeing 17,18,19 year olds hung out to dry against seasoned pros. These youngsters have potential but like Barri Twinn said last night “you can never win anything with kids and you can never survive a relegation battle with kids”.
Orient in fact started fairly brightly with the returning Gavin Massey screwing a shot wide before a huge penalty appeal. Massey who drifted into the left channel, knocked the ball past Harvey Rogers who had no intention of playing the ball bringing down Massey. Referee Graham Salisbury waved away protests and that was that.
Stanley were full of confidence using the flanks very well with the full backs continuing offering support to their winger creating overloads. Myles Judd and Callum Kennedy were being left terribly exposed with Accrington creating chances but nothing on target. That was until the stroke of half time when Billy Kee headed home from a set piece to put them ahead.
Set pieces had caused Orient problems all game (where have we heard that before) with Grainger reluctant to come for crosses. Half time came and went but Orient conceded just five minutes after the restart when Matty Pearson headed home from a set piece. Just put this out there Orient have conceded so many goals just after half time under four managers – surely the players have to take responsibility for this. You are taught that the first five minutes of both half are very important from a young age.
After going two down, the floodgates were open for goals to fly in with Sean McConville curling in a wonderful third before his effort from just inside Orient’s half unfortunately going in off Grainger. Stanley added a fifth in stoppage time when Judd was left horrendously exposed on a 2 on 1, Pearson slotted under Grainger to inflict more pain on Orient.
Where now for Orient? Well next Monday is one of if not the most important days for Leyton Orient football club – the result of the winding up order in the high court.
It is clear that the problems and the situation that the club is in is nothing to do with the youngsters or Danny Webb and his management team. But they are the ones that have been put into the caldron to try and save Orient’s football league status. Everyone knows who is the problem but that is out of our hands.
With nine game remaining and seven points from safety, Orient will need a miracle to fight their way out of the predicament they find themselves in. League Leaders Doncaster Rovers travel to Brisbane Road on Saturday, where Orient have lost 14 of their 19 league matches. Defending in the second half last night, the score line could be much worse.
198 travelling fans were at the Wham Stadium last night. Why? Orient is our club and we want that back, a time to see your mates and enjoy football… well I mean try and enjoy football if you look at the last three seasons. As I travel on the five hour train journey home, the fans will always be there wherever the club may be. All I know is Saturday needs to bring a massive atmosphere to Brisbane Road as Adam Meagher stated on twitter
“Have to treat Saturday like our last ever game, get Brisbane Road rocking, savour every minute, regardless of performance/score”.
The fan base is united but the realisation that in a little over 5 days, Leyton Orient could no longer be. Orient is in the blood for so many and will continue to be for years to come…. Orient till I die…..