Date: 11th March 2012 at 5:43pm
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The rollercoaster of supporting Orient took a massive dip yesterday after a week of ups and plenty of downs. After the Wycombe debacle in midweek there was a brief high as Jamal Campbell-Ryce made a return to The O’s but that high was incredibly brief as JCR limped off injured and Orient lost again.

After the Wycombe game I was seething but the happiness of Orient fans was briefly raised when Russell Slade made three signings on Thursday, the most high profile being that of JCR. It seems that Russell believed our midfield wasn’t good enough so decided to bolster his options in the middle of the park with the loan signings of JCR and Sunderland’s Adam Reed along with the short term signing of Jamie Smith.

I have to say, I think Slade got it wrong by not signing a striker. We have three strikers at the club and they’re not the best. Kevin Lisbie heads the trio but hasn’t been firing for a while and has just one goal since December last year, David Mooney has been out of favour with Russell Slade and Calvin Andrew as we all know, isn’t a goalscorer. Leaving us with those three as our attacking options won’t work, its all well and good having a midfield that can create chances but if we haven’t got anyone to knock it in, we won’t score. I really wanted us to sign a striker, similarly to the time we were in a similar position to we are now and signed Scott McGleish and Simon Church.

Tranmere was another game I decided against going to, mainly because of train prices being their usual extortionate self and the lack of any supporter’s coach from the Supporter’s Club.

Instead of the Wirral, my day was going to be spent watching Ryman Division One North football between Redbridge and Thamesmead Town with a couple of other O’s fans. After being a Tube journey that saw me sat amongst Wet Sham fans off to Upton Park, I finally left the idiocy of the Claret and Blue idiots behind at Leytonstone and headed round ‘the loop’ to Barkingside. Upon arrival at Redbridge’s Oakside Stadium I was asked for a ‘Lady Godiva’ by the Cockney turnstile operator and treated excellently by the ginger haired chap as he pointed me into the bar.

The conversation between the three of us was based around the week we’d had in work till 2pm when the Orient team was posted on Twitter with a massive (well Tiny really) exception, Dean Cox. After a quick refresh of the Twitter page it was announced that our little winger had twisted an ankle. With no Cox, Scott Cuthbert, Kevin Lisbie or Dean Leacock and the presence of Calamity Jane in goal, I feared we’d struggle to pick up anything at Prenton Park.

As the clock struck 3pm, plastic cups were handed round as we took our beer pitch side and stood in the Spring sunshine to watch play-off chasing Redbridge take on mid-table Thamesmead. From the first whistle, the game seemed to be played out in front of us as Thamesmead had the lion’s share of possession and chances.

As Redbridge and Thamesmead were playing, I was refreshing my phone’s Twitter feed to read updates of proceedings at Prenton Park as it Matt Spring fired a free-kick off the home side’s bar. It did seem that Tranmere where perhaps the better side and took a lead after 35 minutes from Andy Robinson amid accusations of handball from the Orient defence.

As we retreated to the comfort of the clean, spacious bar at the Oakside, Redbridge went up the other end of the field and scored against the run of play. The beauty was that despite being in the bar, we could see the goal thanks to windows in the bar. Just as the bored looking barman put BBC on for us to see half time activity in League One, Enoch Showunmi doubled Tranmere’s lead. At this point, I declared the game over despite being reminded of the midweek mini comeback at Wycombe. I come to that conclusion hundreds of miles away due to Orient’s lack of a goal scorer in the Orient side or on the bench and JCR leaving the playing field with an injury.

The two Ryman Divison One North sides returned to the pitch for the second half but we didn’t, we sat and watched the game unfold from the comfort of the bar as we watched updates from around the country. Thamesmead equalised soon after the break and then both teams began spurning goalscoring opportunities. It seemed that updates from Prenton Park become few and far between.

The game ended 1-1 between the two sides at Oakside as the BBC vidiprinter showed ‘FT: Tranmere 2-0 L Orient’. The sinking feeling hit again, this time pretty hard. We now sit six points above the dotted line with a very difficult game at Brisbane Road against Brentford coming up, a game I feel is a ‘must win’. I say must win because a defeat and poor performance will really put Russell Slade’s job in jeopardy I feel. After all, we’ve won just four games at home all season and for many, myself included, going to Brisbane Road has become a chore rather than something highly anticipated.

I then spent my Saturday night at the same nightspot as Ex-O Donny Barnard who was shifting booze and fags like a warrior.

‘Awful result’, ‘Slade Out?’, ‘We are in serious sh*te’ and ‘race to avoid relegation’ adorn the Orient messageboard today as I write this and nurse a hangover. We’re really in trouble now, people are starting to question Russell Slade and his tactics and with some tough games both at home and on the road, we may well see Barry Hearn wield his axe in the coming weeks if the performances and more importantly, the results, do not improve.

I’m really not looking forward to Saturday’s London derby with Brentford, as I said, watching Orient at home is no longer an enjoyable experience.