Leyton Orient 0
Crewe Alexandra 2
(George Cooper, Harry Davis)
I was super excited for my second Crewe Alex game of the season but a little more guarded about the result after witnessing a 5-1 demolition at Wycombe at the end of last month.
It had been six games stretching nearly two years since I had last seen my team pick up three points in the league, the last time was a 2-1 Boxing Day 2014 victory away at Oldham Athletic. Since then I have been to three more home games resulting in three draws and three away games resulting in three defeats.
To add to my rotten run you could include the defeat the Crewe Alexandra Legends suffered to local Cheshire Premier outfit Sandbach United back in June.
Back in September I travelled to Adams Park in high spirits, we had lost just once in the league and sitting third in the table and were facing 16th placed Wycombe. We got royally thumped so you can understand why I was wary when I was approaching Leyton underground station.
This game was more than just the result, it was also a chance to see my old man for a few hours, he too was desperate to see a Crewe Alex win having been at the 1-0 home defeat a week earlier, however his run without a win I don’t think stretches back as far as mine. One worrying family stat was between us, dad and I had been to three games this season and seen two of the three defeats.
This was my second visit to Brisbane Road, my first coming for the same fixture in August 2013 when Orient ran out 2-0 winners against the Railwaymen.
That year I was home from university for the summer and travelled to and from the game on the supporters bus. Now permanently based on the south coast, I used the train and underground to get to the game.
The area surrounding Brisbane Road seems nice, I didn’t get that inner-city London feel when walking to the ground just a big residential area that looked relatively clean.
The ground is fairly unique in that it has a block of flats filling each corner of the stadium. With some balconies and windows offering a good view of the pitch its every Orient fan’s dream and I am sure other fans would be envious that their home pitch doesn’t have similar homes overlooking their team.
In terms of the stadium its self holds just under 10,000 spectators with four fairly even sized seated stands. On this occasion it was just under half full and with fans spread across the four stands it looked relatively well supported.
The away fans are tucked up the corner in the stand opposite the tunnel and dugout and some support pillars could potentially block vital areas of the pitch but like most away sections, seating is unreserved so you can pick the best place to enjoy the game.
Crewe scored twice just before half time to take all three points at the expense of Leyton Orient who now sit second bottom after 15 games.
The victory ended the Railwaymen’s seven game winless run in league and cup thanks to goals from academy graduates George Cooper and Harry Davis putting Steve Davis’ men back in the play-off positions.
Ollie Palmer clearly hadn’t put on his shooting boots as the big striker smacked the ball well high of the bar for the home side on seven minutes.
Former O’s striker Chris Dagnall then forced a great save from Alex Cisak when he latched on to the long diagonal ball from James Jones.
Crewe took the lead just after the half hour mark when Zoumana Bakayogo did excellently to race to the touchline to keep the ball in play, firing a low shot across the box which Nicky Hunt and Jan Jense both failed to clear. Alex Kiwomya slid to get a little pass to Cooper who took the shot first time to fire into the top corner.
Despite Orient shading the possession stats, Crewe were causing more problems in front of goal and Kiwomya nearly doubled the lead only for his shot to be cleared off the line by Tom Parkes after Cisak had fumbled the cross from Cooper.
Just before the break the visitors did double the lead through defender Harry Davis who showed a strikers instinct to bring the ball down in the box and poke past Cisak from six yards after Kiwomya had drifted a lovely lofted pass into the area.
Orient made one change at the break, handing Michael Collins his debut, replacing former Aston Villa forward Jordan Bowery, a strange decision to take off a striker for a midfielder when you are two goals down.
Palmer had a great chance after the restart to pull a goal back for the home side when he went past Jon Guthrie with ease before unleashing a shot at goal, which Ben Garratt had to stretch to push around for a corner.
The home fans were clearly disgruntled with the performance and feelings over spilled into ruptures of boos from all sides of the ground when manager Alberto Cavasin decided to bring off Nigel Atangana who had been playing well.
Crewe sat back happy to defend their lead and invited pressure, however Robbie Weir’s high effort from 30 yards summed up the afternoon for the hosts.
As the game ticked on, substitute Ulrich N’Nomo had only been on the pitch 15 minutes before a going down with an injury on 87 minutes requiring gas & air as well as a stretcher, causing a lengthy stoppage in play and meaning Orient had to end the game with ten men.
With seven minutes added on, Crewe had one more chance to score when Dagnall mugged Parkes for the ball and as he entered the box he had team mates queuing up to score and he squared the pass to Billy Bingham but Cisak was alert to get a touch to send the ball out of play, ending the game with a win for the away side.
2016/17 Games: 49
2016/17 Grounds: 41
Total Grounds Visited: 176