Venue: Brisbane Road
Saturday 23rd August 2003, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Lee Thorpe (4 mins, 1-0), Matt Brazier (78 mins, 2-0)

Attendance: 4,431 (including 937 Glovers)

Referee: Brian Curson (Leicestershire)

Assistant Refs: Steve Tincknell (Hertfordshire) and Keith Yeo (Essex)

Yeovil: None
Leyton Orient: M Lockwood (40 mins, foul), Brazier (62 mins, foul).

Line up : (3-4-1-2)

1. Chris Weale,
2. Adam Lockwood, 14. Roy O’Brien, 5. Colin Pluck,
23. Jamie Gosling, 8. Lee Johnson, 20. Gavin Williams, 6. Darren Way (capt), 10. Nick Crittenden,
9. Kevin Gall, 18. Kirk Jackson.

Subs: 3. Abdelhalim El Kholti (46 mins, for Gosling), 7. Adam Stansfield, 12. Hugo Rodriguez (14 mins, for O’Brien), 13. Steven Collis, 24. Paul Terry (73, for Crittenden).

Leyton Orient: (4-4-2) 13. Glenn Morris, 2. Matt Joseph, 4. Greg Heald, 23. Tom Newey, 3. Matthew Lockwood, 8. Matthew Brazier, 7. Justin Miller, 16. Wayne Purser, 14. Billy Jones, 10. Lee Thorpe, 9. Gary Alexander.

Subs: 26. Paul Jones, 15. Chris Tate, 19. David Hunt (79, for Joseph), 24. Jamie Harnwell (89, for Newey), 12. Marcus Ebdon (79 mins, for Purser).

Badger’s View Of The Game

Gary Johnson kept faith with the side and formation that had done so well last Saturday against Carlisle, and made just one change to the bench with new signing Paul Terry being preferred to a particularly unlucky Andy Lindegaard.

The Glovers got off to the sharpest possible start, nearly scoring just three minutes into the game. A right wing move by Kevin Gall so his low cross dummied by Kirk Jackson, straight into the path of Gavin Williams, whose fierce shot was well saved by Orient keeper Glenn Morris.

Sods law then, that 30 seconds later, Orient were in the lead. A short pass from a free kick was not picked up and Justin Miller was able to get a shot in on goal which Chris Weale did well to parry. Unfortunately, the ball went straight back to Lee THORPE who was given a surprising amount of room to swivel and turn to put the home side 1-0 up on the rebound.

Thorpe nearly doubled the lead four minutes later, when he collected a through-ball, but Weale this time denied him by turning his low shot round for a corner. It was not a good start for the Glovers and that was not helped when Roy O’Brien collected an elbow in the face that saw him helped off the field with blood pouring from his nose. The Orient assailent went unpunished, whilst Hugo Rodrigues became the early replacement.

It was a bitty first half with neither side creating many chances. Leyton Orient were content to keep their defence very high up the field and almost challenge Yeovil to breach their off-side trap. Such tactics ought to have been meat and drink to the likes of Kevin Gall, Gavin Williams and Nick Crittenden, but the latter two seemed to be reduced to just defensive duties, leaving Gall frequently isolated and having to back-track into midfield.

Matthew Lockwood was booked for a foul on Gavin Williams, and Yeovil almost got their way back into the game just before the break when a Nick Crittenden layoff set up Kevin Gall nicely, but his curling shot bounced just round the post. On the balance of play though, it would have been harsh on the home side, who had been first to the majority of the 50:50 balls and had controlled the territory in a more than comfortable manner.

Half-time: Leyton Orient 1 Yeovil Town 0

Clearly Gary Johnson decided at half time that things weren’t working. Jamie Gosling was replaced by Abdelhalim El Kholti, whilst Gavin Williams and Nick Crittenden switched wings as Yeovil moved to a 4-4-2 line-up. But still Yeovil struggled to get past a resolute Orient blockade.

In fact it was Orient who created the first chance of the half. Matthew Brazier tried his luck with a swirling long range shot that Chris Weale was forced to tip over the bar, with the Yeovil defence giving Brazier far too much room. Wayne Purser also went close when he fluffed his shot wide of the target after he’d collected the results of a neat one-two that carved open the Yeovil defence. Next Gary Alexander found Chris Weale too good for him when he produced an excellent reflex save.

With the second half having more or less mirrored the first, but with Yeovil pushing up more in numbers, Gary Johnson made his last switch as Paul Terry made his debut for the Glovers replacing Nick Crittenden. They came close to an equaliser when Kevin Gall was put away, but he probably shot too early, and the result was a far too comfortable save for keeper Glenn Morris.

But for all of Yeovil’s persistent attempts to work their way past the Orient back-line, it was the home side that grabbed the decisive goal. A short corner went to Matthew BRAZIER, and once again the midfielder was in far too much space on the edge of the area. This time there was nothing that Chris Weale could do about his rasping drive that rose into the top of the net. 2-0, game over, but it could have been so different had Gall’s earlier effort gone in, as Leyton had been lining up two substitutions to try and calm the home side’s nerves. The second goal did far more than any substitution could have done.

To Yeovil’s credit, they didn’t stop trying, although if one goal seemed unlikely, the chances of them getting two goals in the final ten minutes were requiring a minor miracle. But Colin Pluck went close when he headed a Gavin Williams corner just wide and Adam Lockwood went close with a long range effort. This just wasn’t going to be Yeovil’s day though, as they suffered their first league defeat for eight months and failed to score in a league match for the first time in a similar period. They were never over-run by Orient by any means, but lacked the imagination to worm their way round a resolute home defence. Thankfully, they will have to wait just 48 hours for a chance to put things right.


Full-time: Leyton Orient 2 Yeovil Town 0

MOTM Vote Result:

Player MOTM Score
Chris Weale 12 690
Hugo Rodrigues 200
Abdelhalim El Kholti 2 190
Adam Lockwood 2 140
Colin Pluck 2 120
Lee Johnson 100
Darren Way 90
Gavin Williams 1 80
Kevin Gall 1 50

Overall match rating: 4.8 / 10
Performance: 4.5
Entertainment: 5.1

20 votes received.