Player of the Match
BIRKBECK ORIENT B 6 - 2 East London
Goalscorers - Tony Collins x3, Sean Preston,
James King-Patarou, Marius Ceorcea
Assists - Martin Huthinson x2,
George James x3, Tony Collins
1) Pete Ranger
2) Chris Jarvis
3) Phil Stopford
4) Adam Meagher (c)
5) James Javes
6) Martin Hutchinson
7) Marius Ceorcea
8) Jonny Duckworth
9) George James
10) Charlie Stannard
11) Stewart Potter
12) Sean Preston
13) James King-Patarou
14) Tony Collins
BIRKBECK ORIENT B 6 - 2 East London
Bow Badgers 3 - 0 Fish Island
CP Two 3 - 1 FC BKT United
Eastway Olympia 2 - 2 Wojak Sunday
Quinine 0 - 6 Football Club 22
The Wenlock 2 - 1 Soccer Painters
MATCH REPORT by Sean Preston.
The two sides had played out four draws in as many games over the last two seasons, so it was no surprise that this encounter started tentatively, with both teams looking to control midfield. Preston favoured Duckworth in the middle over himself, with Charlie Stannard just ahead, behind striker George James. Marius Coercea was given his first start out on pitch at right wing, and this is where the ball found itself for much of the opening spell, as well as over on the tried and tested left-wing flanked by Stewart Potter.
Despite an even flow of possession, with both sides turning the ball over quicker than they would have hoped to, it was the away side that took the advantage when Orient failed to contain a wide attack. An East London winger broke into the box and stole a shot away, squeezing it under returning goalkeeper Pete Ranger in what was a frustrating lack of concentration and strength in the Birkbeck box.
That theme continued with the East London side buoyed by a perceived lack of grit in the Birkbeck side, with the Londoners coming out on top in the air and to second balls. Still, when Orient did get the ball down and persevere with their short passing tactics, they found the home side easy to break down. George James’ neat run was matched by Stannard’s incisive pass, but last year’s club top goalscorer was unable to find the net, cutting his shot just wide of the far post. Patarou, replacing an injured Jonny Duckworth, too found himself with space in the box. His header failing to trouble the East London goal.
But it was an off-the ball incident that would turn the tide of the day. In a moment of madness an East London midfielder who had been controlling much of the tempo to the day reacted badly to a foul and aimed a head at an Orient man. The referee of course had absolutely no option whatsoever other than to dismiss the midfielder for violent conduct on the stroke of half-time.
So it was with bemusement to Preston that the Orient side started their second half on the back foot again. Collins had replaced Jarvis, which meant two other positional changes in the side, and perhaps the team were still adjusting to the changes in these early moments. Unfortunately, in that period of adjustment, a forlorn Orient found themselves 2-0 down. A quick break and excellent finish later against Coercea, who had moments before replaced an injured Pete Ranger, left Birkbeck Orient staring at another miserable zero points from what would surely have been difficult result to accept, given the man count. Player manager Preston, who had replaced Ranger, now slotted into central midfield and after the second goal, was rejoined by Hutchinson in the middle with Stannard taking to the right side. The theme of constant rejigging forced by the direction of the match and its injuries took its toll. And an Orient side could be forgiven for a lack of composure across the park. Thankfully, substitute Tony Collins imbued a sense of belief into the away side by making the most of a good passing move which found the new signing twelve yards out. Collins spun his man calmly and slotted in his and Orient’s first of the season.
It was just five minutes later that a second moment of madness, this time from the East London centre back, who flicked out a reactionary leg at striker George James in the box, saw Orient afforded an opportunity to level the tie. Collins made no mistake from the spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-2.
A 10-man East London began to tire, and when Hutchinson whipped in corner to the receptive head of Sean Preston, the East London goalkeeper could do little to keep out the solid header. 3-2 to Orient, and the home team looked a beaten side already. Stretched, they continued to leave enthused attackers King-Patarou, James, and Collins with too much space, and when a fantastic ball from Martin Hutchinson found Patarou at the back post, the 28-year-old snapped up the opportunity to open his own account with aplomb, netting low and hard to the keeper’s right. Orient found their 5th shortly after, Collins finding the goalkeeper out of position, and driving the ball hard and low to the left corner in an effort made to look easy by Collins. A fantastic effort in general from the 33-year-old. This half-hour-hat-trick and man of the match performance will encourage manager Preston. The afternoon was topped off when Collins was brought down by the opposition goalkeeper, and Romanian Marius Coercea smashed home the penalty to give the Orient side their first win of the season. 6-2 Orient.
In what was a initially a tentative game, Preston can feel that his side did well to address the many plot twists of both halves. It can’t have been a comfortable half for many, with violent conduct, threats, and many players playing out of position, not to mention the potentially disheartening effect of going two-down against a ten man side, but Birkbeck Orient’s resolve won through and he’ll be hoping that the steely determination and efficiency with the ball in the closing thirty minutes of the game can be carried into next week’s tie against new side Soccer Painters.