“If you’re visiting Leyton Orient, don’t bring the car” said the information on the internet, “There is no public parking in the area and the resident’s permit scheme is strictly enforced!” It’s fair to say we like a challenge, especially when engineering work on the nearby tube system had already limited our options for the day. It was one of those trips where everyone had been given some research to do; the Greetland Shayman had the bus routes review, the Ripponden Shayman ‘aka The Navigator’ had the route to work out, my job was to review local street view and read all the restriction notices, whilst we gave Tesco Pete the job of finding a good place for breakfast. Well you’ve got to work to people’s talents, haven’t you?!
The day started well; we left in daylight for once and it was only 7. 00 am, the sun had already lifted the overnight chill and it felt like it wasn’t going to be a day for needing a big coat. This was our 14th and final trip of the season to the South of England, this time just 212 miles. The big topic of conversation on the way down was the incredible price of the new season ticket. Contrasted with news from other clubs in the same league, it sounds an absolute gift from the club, the Greetland Shayman was convinced that even the most cautious of his friends would buy one this time too, (well maybe!).
Breakfast was a disappointment, if not slightly amusing. We gave Tesco Pete the single job of picking out a place to stop anywhere from Newark to the M25; he managed to find the only place in the world that didn’t serve a vegan breakfast (it had run out…). Tesco Pete was fine with his all you can eat challenge, it was the poor old Greetland Shayman that was disappointed and very hungry; he spent almost £10 on a cup of tea and a slice of toast and spent the entire time chuntering about the lack of fruit salad on the breakfast bar. “Cheer up,” said the Ripponden Shayman, “You can watch the Shaymen for less than the price of your breakfast next season, and still have change for a cup of tea!”
It’s always good when a plan comes together; one person was watching the back of the car as we reversed whilst someone else watched the front wheels. The car fitted into the smallest possible space with just millimetres to spare inside the parking bay. You could see the floodlights just across the park, we were that close to the ground and better still, the restriction notices only applied Monday to Friday; What a result! If only it wasn’t still Saturday morning it would all be worth it. With over 3 hours until kick off, we had plenty of time to explore the delights of the local area and were warmly welcomed by the Leyton Orient fans on the streets.
Breyer Group Stadium or Brisbane Road is probably the best ground on our travels this season. It’s a mix of traditional and modern with a capacity of just over 9,000. Each corner of the ground has been filled with residential blocks of apartments with balconies offering views across the pitch. There are 3 modern stands, one at either end of the pitch with neat covered seating whilst the main stand dominates the ground with offices and corporate facilities high up above nearly 2,000 red seats. The Travelling Shaymen were allocated nearly 1,500 seats at the south side of the old main stand which was constructed in the 1950’s and has lots of character along with a decent view of the pitch.
At half time the Shaymen led 2-1. It was a bizarre first half where Leyton Orient dominated much of the play and were roared on by around 5,000 home fans. The game was wide open and exciting with both teams looking to attack every time they gained possession. The Shaymen scored first with perhaps their first attack of the game around 10 minutes in, the ball hit the post and was cleared off the line then put away at the third attempt. It was great fun, Devante Rodney doubled the lead just before half time, we couldn’t believe our luck, it was a cracking goal and against the run of play. The generous referee gave Orient a chance soon after, allowing four minutes of additional time to be played when only two were signalled by the fourth official. The crowd made a right noise as the home side scored right on half time.
The second half was heroic for the Shaymen, again Orient dominated with fast flowing controlled football. The crowd cranked up the volume whilst attack after attack was thwarted by a hard-working team. In truth, the Shaymen had chances too, on the break they looked dangerous and there were a few near misses to make it 3-1. The 187 travelling Shaymen added to the atmosphere as Orient pushed harder and harder for an equaliser. In the very last moments of additional time the equaliser came, a scramble forced over the line. The nearby and adjoining home fans were ecstatic, its truth they deserved it, what a noise and a fair result.
Driving back and we were happy, a great day out and the team did us proud, Sam Johnson was our Man of the Match, he was great.
Next up, it’s Hartlepool away on Good Friday, it almost a local derby! C’mon Shaymen
Total miles on the road this season: 7831, total league goals on the road: 18
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