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Monday, 25 February 2013

Away Day Experience: Leyton Orient

This Saturday saw a rare chance for me to get to see Crawley play "in the flesh" since our 1-1 draw with Swindon Town at the start of February.

At the beginning of the season, I decided that I'd make every London away game to watch the Reds.  Leyton Orient, I believe the last of the clubs in this vicinity.

Hopping on the train from Southampton at 11am. The packed carriages meant me and two other friends had to stand the whole way to Waterloo - believe me, it wasn't a pleasant experience, with people treading on your toes, barging, pushing etc. A harrowing experience for a chubby, 5'7' man!

Anyway, we reached Waterloo, took a train to Bank and then reached darkest, deepest east London and the delightful sights that Leyton has to offer. A plus note was the pringle shaped velodrome that we could see in the distance as we walked towards the ground.

Now those who do not know me, won't understand my difficulties with trains! I'm very thankful for both Josh and Ben in showing me the way to reach the destination with plenty of time. On coming back from Aldershot, I got through my door in Southampton at 10.30pm. It was a 3pm kick off for goodness' sake, and both places are in the same county!

We reached the "Coach and Horses", a stones' throw away from the ground and I've got to say, it was very nice - an old school Nag's Head (Only Fools and Horses) feel about it. The prices weren't too bad either, considering we were in London.

The pub in all it's glory
It soon started filling up with a number of Reds fans, a few natives dotted around as well and about half an hour before kick off, we left and headed to Brisbane Road; a new ground for me and my Dad, who now has visited all but one London Football League ground; The Valley, Charlton Athletic.

It was a strange stadium; wooden seats seemed to signal the history that the place had, after all, it has been the home of Orient since 1937. However, in the four corners of the ground, were modern, swanky looking flats! It just didn't make sense. Surely things aren't that cramped in London that flats are being build inside a ground!? A decent view for the occupants though, I'd imagine.

You can see part of one flat to the left, and one in the other corner
Onto the game and, we really did dominate early doors; Billy Clarke opening the scoring with an absolute cracker after turning his man, he fired into the top corner.

A few of our fans were ejected for lighting a smoke bomb, my view is that it's slightly idiotic, however, it's only for a bit of colour/fun etc and it's not as if every week this happens (I think the last time was Accrington at home a few years ago during the Majeed era). Not that I'm condoning it due to some people's health (asthma etc) problems, but some were making it out to be the next World War. It wasn't.

It could have been more when the much-maligned Mike Jones saw his header hit the crossbar.

Second half was different though, Orient had their spells and threw everything at us, particularly in the final 15 minutes, but great defending by in particular, Joe Walsh and Mark Connolly saw a resolute performance turn into our first win since New Years Day.

Expected more from the hosts in truth, they had no real clear cut chances and the home fans were very quiet throughout. Russell Slade's side could be in for a tough next couple of months if they continue playing like they did.

It sets us up nicely for out match against Brentford tomorrow (Tuesday) night. A win against them and then Bury away on Saturday could see some momentum gained at just the right time.

The home fans quickly dispersed 
A quick KFC to celebrate the win and an un-eventful train journey back, saw me in at 8pm - a little different from the Aldershot trip!