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By Tom Taylor, London24’s Leyton Orient blogger
Monday, November 19, 2012
A week can be a long time in football. Sometimes it can decide a manager’s future, Sometimes it can define a team’s season. Perhaps for the reds of east London this was the week to get their stuttering campaign finally flowing.
Before the Shrewsbury game last week, Orient were mired by bad form and nose-diving towards another relegation battle. But two decent displays in the league have propelled them back into mid table with the opportunity to push on into the top half of League One.
In between both league games was an important cup tie away to Blue Square North Gloucester City. The O’s needed to keep the momentum from the win against the Shrews going and Gloucester looked potentially awkward opposition as they searched for a FA cup upset.
And it seemed to be an awkward encounter for long spells of the match. The Tigers took the game to their higher level visitors early on and nearly scored within the first couple of minutes. Orient managed to get themselves into the contest but were struggling to make an impact in attacking areas.
With five minutes to go it was looking like a frustrating night as the dreaded prospect of a replay loomed large. But a sublime header from David Mooney from an excellent Lloyd James cross proved the dagger in tired Gloucester hearts as the O’s moved their way into the second round. Dean Cox added the icing on the cake moments later to complete a satisfactory if not at times impressive show at Whaddon Road.
Name: Tom Taylor
Season ticket holder
Favourite player: Romain Vincelot
Most memorable game: Arsenal (Home) FA Cup 5th round 2010/11
Predicted finish: 12th
Two wins from two saw Orient travel with confidence to their longest trip of the season at Carlisle United. And that confidence was shown as they brushed aside the Cumbrians in emphatic style. Carlisle’s reasonable start was eventually quelled as Orient took control thanks to the increasingly impressive Mooney who eventually tapped in his first of the match.
A defensive error from a Carlisle free kick let the hosts equalise briefly before Orient really turned on the style. Ben Chorley added further to his season’s tally which was then quickly by winger Lee Cook rolling in the third before a great second strike for Mooney. In the second half, a dogged display completed the job for the O’s on what was arguably their best away day of the season so far.
The stars of the show were Orient’s front pair of Mooney and Kevin Lisbie. The ex-Charlton man earned a round of applause from all sections of the ground as he was replaced in the second half, an indication of how well the 34 year old played at Brunton Park.
But kudos must also go to his Irish partner in attack. Mooney has not been a fan favourite during his time at Brisbane Road, with many questioning his ability and work rate in an Orient shirt. However in recent games he has improved his performances to a far greater level than was seen previously, much to the delight of gaffer Russell Slade.
And he was rewarded for the recent excellent displays as he grabbed his first goal of the campaign at Gloucester, which was then followed up with his brace at Carlisle, which could have been a hat-trick if it were not for the crossbar denying him from 25 yards.
With Orient’s 39 hitting top form at the right time it could prove to be an interesting week for Slade as he ponders dipping into the loan market for another striker.