This last week has demonstrated what a strange and unpredictable ‘animal’ the game of football really is.
Last Tuesday the O’s went into the Southend Johnstone’s Paint Trophy full of confidence having got an easier than expected three points against Stevenage the previous weekend.
Then they fell – arguably – flat on their faces after the Shrimper’s bit-part player, Ryan Leonard, had scored with their only real, clear cut chance of the game, coupled with the fact that David Mooney alone should have been going home with matchball, if there was any justice in football.
So, going into Saturday’s clash probably the last thing on your average Orient supporter’s mind would be an ultimately comfortable win and retribution for our opening day defeat at Prenton Park.
After all, when the fixtures are published in mid-June there are always a few stand-out fixtures – i.e. the games against the relegated big hitters from the Championship, clashes with Brentford and Colchester and perhaps the Christmas and Easter games.
Tranmere – albeit – an opening day fixture – was hardly a return fixture in gloomy February to anticipate with too much relish. But, with Rovers, some may say, punching above their weight going into this fixture as league leaders but possibly on the wane given their recent form, this was possibly to prove the catalyst that could make or break our season.
The early indications of another home win were probably set aside when Lloyd James – making an uncharacteristic sortie into the box – completely missed his header. Though, if he had hit the target it would have probably sent their keeper into the back of net too but the ball flew across the face of goal and James was lying in the mud.
But Charlie MacDonald – with his first strike in his seventh appearance – didn’t disappoint and after Martin Rowlands had made amends by netting with his wonder goal after a horrible penalty miss, there was always going to be one winner. Tranmere did manage a late consolation but unlike previous seasons, the O’s were steadfast and held out.
We are now four points off that magic 50-mark and in my opinion the season very much starts when you reach that total – and once there who knows where it might take us?
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s