Saturday, 16 October 2010

Leyton Orient 1 Hartlepool United 0

That was a game of two halves if ever I saw one. At half-time Iwas coontemplateing the worst match I'd seen this season - no creativity, no invention, very few chances, against a Hartlepool team who didn't exactly look to be trying too hard to set the game on fire. But on the introduction of Tehoue and Mpoku early in the second half, Orient looked the more likely to win, and eventually scored from Tehoue's lashed-in shot from about 3 yards out in the last minute of normal time.

I thought Orient missed Dawson's drive and tenacity in midfield - we never seemed to threaten anything from that area, lots of poor touches, especially from Coxy (most unusual) and Omozusi. Chorley took over as captain, which looks like it's encouraged him to believe he's Franz Beckenbauer, as shown by his new-found tendnecy to go on long, loping runs forward with the ball. Apart from that, he was easily our best player in the first half, heading away all balls into the box, and generally being his usual solid self. Lee Butcher also acquitted himself well, in the absence of Jamie Jones.

The dismal first half looked like giving way to a dismal second half, until Mpoku came on and immediately began turning the Hartlepool right-back inside out, and whipping balls into the box on a regular basis. After a few mazy dribbles, they put two men on him, a sign that they couldn't cope with his twists and turns, and eventually resorted to some cynical fouling, giving away a couple of freekicks in dangerous positions.

Even Mpoku's freekick on the right, where he somehow slipped over while striking the ball, still resulted in the corner fromwhich Tehoue scored. All in all, he could do no wrong, and would have thoroughly desrved the man of the match award, even though he was only on the pitch for less than half the game.

Maybe Orient could benefit from a twin attack of Mpoku on the left and Cox on the right - we could certainly use a presence on the right, we never seem to threaten from that side of the pitch. Can't argue with 1-0 though, these were opponents we should always expect to beat.

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