Orient ended their season with a dismal 3-1 defeat against an impressive Huddersfield Town side that could have quite conceivably won this contest by four or five. The first 45 minutes was a non-event as far as Orient were concerned as they put in the most embarrassing of displays, which left them rather fortunate to be only 3-0 at the break.
The second half was slightly better although it would have been difficult for it to have been any worse. Jason Demetriou`s beautifully struck shot just before the hour mark reduced the deficit, but Orient were unable to get a second goal to make more of a game of it.
Martin Ling rang the changes with Brian Saah, Wayne Corden, Aiden Palmer and Jason Demetriou all coming into the side. Unfortunately for Palmer, it was a first half that the youngster will want to forget in a hurry as he was constantly exposed by the pace of Michael Collins and the experienced Frank Sinclair.
The Terriers dominated the first half and it was little surprise when they took the lead after eleven minutes. Mark Hudson got in behind the O`s defence down the Town right hand side and his cross was slotted home by the unmarked Collins for 1-0.
Just fifteen minutes later and Huddersfield doubled their lead as once again the Terriers exploited Palmer`s inexperience down the O`s left. Frank Sinclair took advantage of the space on the flank before whipping in a beautifully flighted cross for Holdsworth to send a diving header past Morris.
That goal underlined Town`s dominance and with Orient playing like a pub side, the Terriers must have fancied their chances of racking up a cricket score. In fact, had it not been for some superb saves from Morris then that cricket score may have materialised as Orient simply did not perform.
It was almost 3-0 just minutes later as Beckett took advantage of some hesitancy in the Orient defence, but the striker was adjudged to have fouled Chambers as he sent a looping header over Morris. It was a harsh decision and the Terriers were unfortunate not to be three goals to the good.
However, that decision was not to prove too costly as the hosts grabbed the third goal that they deserved just before the break as Holdsworth drove home from the edge of the box, to compound a miserable first half for the O`s.
Solomon Shields replaced Aiden Palmer at the break and the youngster played a part in the only bright moment of the afternoon for the visitors. It was the youngster`s run down the right that gave Demetriou the opportunity to cut inside on to his left foot, before sending a fabulous curling effort past the outstretched arm of Glennon.
It was a superb strike which drew applause from all sectors of the stadium and a goal that capped a solid display for Jason Demetriou. However, that was the only enjoyable part of a rather forgettable afternoon for those O`s fans that had made the long journey north.
Ling introduced Efe Echanomi for Ryan Jarvis, the young striker proving quite a handful for the Town defence but neither he nor Gary Alexander could find another goal for the O`s.
Luke Beckett had a late chance for the hosts but could only fire well over when well placed in the penalty area.
In the end, Orient`s 2006/7 campaign went out with a whimper and a performance that they should be thoroughly embarrassed with. The travelling fans deserved better than to be humiliated by an Orient side that looked as if they had already left for Ibiza.
O’s Finish 20th
The defeat to Huddersfield ensures Orient finish the season in 20th position with 51 points from 46 games. The O`s finished 4 points clear of the drop zone and it was ultimately the victories at Chesterfield and Bradford that enabled them to escape relegation. It was fortunate that they didn`t require any points at the Galpharm as they never looked like getting any.
Failed To Compete
Orient failed to compete against a Huddersfield side that will surely prosper under the guidance of Andy Ritchie. The hosts played some lovely flowing football at times as they tore Orient to shreds in the first half. The first period was a complete embarrassment from an Orient point of view and Martin Ling let his players know about it. The second half was much improved but it was too little too late as Huddersfield strolled home with ease.
It was a disappointing way to conclude the season but Ling will know that he has a lot of work to do over the summer if the O`s are to survive next season. There can be no doubt that there will be a lot of comings and goings over the summer and after today`s performance, it looks like Ling will have to bring in some real quality to boost an ailing squad.