Date: 10 February 2007
“I was there when Sicknote scored his hat-trick.” I hope someone has taken it upon himself to design the T-shirts, because the club needs the revenue! Having said that, you’d never think so, to see the new first-floor home supporters’ bar. There’s no point trying to buy a drink after 2 p.m. on a match day! The four staff work their socks off, but aren’t even close to coping. The facilities are attractive and spacious, but the bar can’t cope at all. There must have been dozens of people who would have bought a drink today if it had been easier to do so.
I’m only talking about the bar because I still can’t quite believe I saw Bournemouth win 5-0. Our best league result for two and a half years. But it must be true - because there were 5985 witnesses. Friends ask me to explain it, and that’s hard to do. Orient supporters on the train home proffered two explanations; I agree with the second but not the first. Firstly, they suggested, “We [i.e. Orient] were so bad that anyone could have beaten us on the day.” I don’t agree with this; I thought Orient challenged well, gave it everything and could have scored a number of times - right up to the very end when a ‘consolation’ goal looked a strong possibility; and anyway some credit must be given to Bournemouth for the way we played. We never sat back or stopped pushing for another goal, not even when 5-0 up. No, we kept pushing greedily for another.
The other explanation offered by Orient supporters was, “It made a difference that they [i.e. Bournemouth] got an early goal in each half.” That is undoubtedly true. The first goal with only ten minutes on the clock settled us and boosted our confidence. Without the early goal in the second half, also, things could have been very different. With the 45 minute score at 2-0, most supporters would have guessed - especially given the run of play as half-time approached - that the next goal would come from Orient not Bournemouth.
Details of the goals. The first involved Wilson passing to Browning who was advancing on the left. Browning chased and managed to cut the ball back into the centre just before it had chance to cross the line. Orient defenders half-cleared it but Wilson - who all this time hadn’t stopped running - side footed it into the low left corner of the net. Less than five minutes later, Anderton - off a Cummings cross - shot into the same corner of the net. Fletcher and Hayter had scoring chances as the half proceeded, and so in fairness did Orient players. But we held on to the 2-0 margin up to half time.
The third goal was almost a one-man job by Hayter but, when he got tangled up with a defender in the area, Anderton was on hand to take over and shoot the ball home. The fourth goal came when Cork crossed and Fletcher nodded the ball down for … Anderton; again!! On the hour mark, Vidarsson - on his debut - came on for Wilson, but played in the same position (wide left midfield) as Wilson had. The final goal was another solo effort by Hayter, who picked up the ball just inside Orient’s half and ran - and ran! Once he’d scored, while the cheering was still going on, Pitman was brought on for Fletcher - which to be honest made little difference. Pitman tried hard to get himself on the score sheet, as did Cooper late on, but in the end we had to be content with ‘only’ a five goal margin!!
The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :
Cooper (7), Young (8), Gowling (8), Cummings (7);
Anderton (8), Browning (7), Cork (8), Wilson (7);
Hayter (7), Fletcher (6).