Despite taking the lead Orient fell apart again, this time at the hands of Oldham Athletic, leaving Orient firmly rooted to the foot of League One with just two points and a deficit of 14 goals.
Orient took the lead totally against the run of play as Tom Clarke and David Mooney capitalised on a rare mistake from the Oldham backline to send through young George Porter who scored his first Orient goal in his first start for the club.
Despite being a goal behind away from home, Oldham didn’t seem phased by Orient taking the lead and set about piling the pressure on the Orient backline. Shefki Kuqi had a free header at the back post that didn’t even hit the target. Some teams would see that as a warning but Orient’s defensive frailties were exploited again, this time Robbie Simpson failing to get his header on target. Somehow Orient managed to go in at the break with a lead despite waives of Latics pressure.
Orient desperately needed a second goal, that was the word from the bar underneath the Tommy Johnston Stand at the break, however, Orient were pegged back just four minutes into the second half. A ball over the top, straight down the middle, to Shefki Kuqi split the Orient defence in two and allowed the experienced Finn to fire past Ben Alnwick.
Oldham’s second came from poor Orient defending. I say poor because we did well to clear the ball initially but in true Orient fashion, we failed to clear the second ball and Kuqi’s delicate cross was put past Alnwick by Rueben Reid’s glancing header after 65 minutes.
Two headers from David Mooney that went nowhere near the Oldham goal, never mind testing Alex Cisak in the Latics goal were enough to confirm Orient’s fifth straight home defeat. For a final time, well not for the final time this season, the Orient defence was ripped apart and conceaded.
A high ball to Kuqi was controlled admirably by the Finn and he held up the ball fantastically before back heeling the ball to Matt Smith, who’d been on the pitch a matter of minutes. Smith then slotted the ball underneath Alnwick to score Oldham’s third and confirm the three points headed back north.
Again, Orient were shocking, again, we came away with nothing and yet again Russell Slade refused to even think about a plan B. Time is running out for Russell, despite what Barry Hearn says. Our next three games see us face two relegated sides and a team who haven’t lost in 34, lose those three in the manner we have the previous games and Russell must surely be staring the Job Centre queue in the eye.
I feel sorry for him, he’s obviously talented but he’s wasted in our rubbish side.
He’s not had the best of seasons and has become a scapegoat, but he was poor on Saturday. Must improve.
Oh how we yearn for Daniels of old who’d look a threat every time he opened his legs and galloped down that left hand side.
I have never been Ben’s biggest fan but currently he’s a liability. When he isn’t arguing with officials, he’s being caught out of position or pointing the finger at someone else for his inability.
Another man I feel for. He’s clearly our best defender but has a massive job on his hands playing with our defence.
Put the Oldham defence under pressure to have a hand in the Porter goal, he’s steady, yet unspectacular.
Like Daniels, we hope for the old Cox to return.
He’s pacy and raw and actually looks like he’s interested, unlike some of our current bunch.
As usual with Spring, he was steady and his passing was almost always spot on.
Was he on the pitch?
Should have done better with the two headers but set up the Porter goal.
Game was lost when he came on.