Sunday, 29 December 2013

Wolverhampton Wanderers - 29th December 2013

So the O's come away with a memorable point, again showing the great spirit that has been instilled in the squad this year, all in front of the largest attendance in League One this season.

A quick review - After a first half with largely one-way traffic, O's fans could've been forgiven for thinking the worst having gone behind to an early strike from Ebanks-Landell and seeing our Gallic midfield general limp off with a knee injury. However, if anything, the injury to Vincelot was a blessing in disguise as it gave the more balance to the side with Sawyer moving to left back, Omozusi to right back and Odubajo pushing up higher the pitch to his more favoured right wing position.

It was from this area of the pitch where the O's forced a deserved equaliser, Odubajo putting in an excellent ball for Baudry to finish calmly at the back post. We could've won it late on with again Odubajo causing problems down the right, but his cross failed to reach a red shirt as it flew agonisingly across the goal.

Man of the match - Nathan Clarke. A typically full blooded performance from the skipper, winning most of the contests on the pitch and leading by example once again. He even at one point found himself making a Forrest Gump style run upfield before realising he'd left everyone behind and trotted back to a more familiar defensive position. Perhaps he could've done with some of those "headloss tablets" he's in the process of inventing?

Of the other notable performances, although Jake Larkins perhaps could've done better with the goal, being beaten at the near post, he more than made up for it with a fantastic double save at a crucial time in the second half to keep the score at 0-1.  Odubajo also proved why he's one of the hottest prospects in League One with an excellent performance in the second half. At one point he even outmuscled Bakary Sako, a man 4 times the size of him.

What next? - Bristol City. With the news that Shaun Batt is likely to miss the rest of the season, Romain Vincelot limping off with a knee injury and David Mooney not back for another couple of weeks, our already threadbare squad will really be put to the test in the coming weeks (heard that one before). Although not the most gifted technically, Batt's ability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck will be sorely missed. The transfer window can't come soon enough.

Up the O's!

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