The Match - On a pitch more akin to the Battle of the Somme than a professional football team, both teams battled it out to try and get a hold of the semi final. As it turns out, we're no closer to finding out who will be heading to Wembley on the 25th. But still, with the O's creating enough chances to win the game, if we can play on Tuesday like we did today then who knows if we'll be hearing Rocking All Over The World?
|The London Road Pitch|
Assombalonga unsurprisingly got himself another goal, his 33rd in all competitions, but whilst we prefer to spend £1.5 million on a new stand rather than a striker, he was kept relatively quiet by Clarke and Baudry.
There were several occasions throughout the game where a steadier foot on the difficult surface could have led to a goal, particularly in the first half. Mooney, Cox and Lisbie all had great opportunities in front of goal only to find themselves face down on the turf with the ball scrambled away.
The Players - So much has been made of the team spirit this season, and once again it came to the fore. It was great to see the players and staff gathered in a huddle after the game, a show of unity that is rarely seen on the pitch.
Mo fully deserved his man of the match award for the way he tormented the full back throughout the second half. It wasn't the most convincing of tap-ins for the goal, but we'll let him off.
The defence was solid as always. As previously mentioned, Clarke and Baudry kept Assombalonga relatively quiet whilst Cuthbert had another superb game at right back.
The Manager - At times this season, the changes that Slade has made have left some fans scratching their heads. Today, he got it absolutely spot on. With Lundstram struggling on the difficult pitch, he replaced him with James and Batt was brought on for the tiring Lisbie. Both players had a part in the move for the goal so hats off to Slade for getting it right.
Up Next - The second leg. With the game at home and hopefully on a much better pitch, we should be able to get the ball down more than we were perhaps able to today. It's only half time, there's still a long way to go, plenty of football left to play and a whole host of other clichés still on their way. Hopefully Sir Alex will make an appearance this time.
Up the O's!
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