Orient Record Second Successive Away Win

Leyton Orient recorded their first National League victory of 2018 with a 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Halifax Town.

A first win in five league games couldn’t come soon enough for Justin Edinburgh’s men as Macauley Bonne and Josh Koroma won the game for Orient.

The win puts the O’s above both Halifax Town and Hartlepool United and means they are 5 points clear of Solihull Moors in the last relegation zone position although they need to be careful with Solihull Moors in good form at the current time and Barrow with two games in hand on all the teams above them due to their recent cup exploits.

This game was originally postponed a week ago on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch but it was the home side that went home soggy and pointless as a determined Leyton Orient team knew a defeat would leave them in terrible danger at the wrong end of the table.

A crowd of 1,352 had braved a chilly January night in the north of England to see these teams do battle once more having played against each other in the football league lower divisions many times previously.

All the important action came in the first half as the visitors went into the break with a slender 2-1 cushion which they were able to keep until the final whistle.

Orient opened the scoring when Craig Clay found Dan Holman free on the edge of the area before the forward played a through ball for Macauley Bonne to find the net from just inside the area with 18 minutes on the clock. This was Bonne’s 17th goal of the campaign and it’s likely Orient would be marooned in the relegation zone without his input this season.

This didn’t daunt Halifax Town and they came back at the east Londoners and levelled 14 minutes later through Tom Denton after a driven cross from Josh MacDonald found the winger at the far post to easily tap in from close range.

This didn’t dent Orient’s guile either and in return they came straight back into the match and retook the lead as Josh Koroma scored what turned out to be the winner for the visitors six minutes before the break when he shrugged off his defender and drilled into the bottom corner past Sam Johnson.

Halifax were getting agitated at times and three players found referee Peter Gibbons little black book namely Hibbs, Collins and Moyo that sounds like a fish finger manufacturer if ever I heard one.

Orient attacked straight after the restart with Bonne and Holman looking a threat from the off while Koroma was also proving to be a nuisance for the Halifax defence. He won the O’s a free kick in the 50th minute, but McAnuff’s shot took a deflection and went wide.

Orient continued to push and probe and fine interchanging between Bonne and Clay saw the former get a sight of goal, but O’s top goalscorer could only shoot wide with 55 minutes on the clock.

Halifax came back alls guns blazing and really controlled the match for a sustained period in the second half and it was only good defending from Elokobi, who firstly blocked a cross from the right before heading a corner clear, that ensured O’s remained 2-1 ahead at the Shay with less than a quarter of the match to play.

The O’s perhaps should have killed the game off with 13 minutes to go when forward duo Bonne and Holman linked up again, but the former couldn’t beat keeper Sam Johnson from a tight angle.

It was the east Londoners again who threatened with three minutes to go when Josh Koroma played Bonne in, he found McAnuff, but the skipper couldn’t beat Johnson.

There were five minutes of stoppage time, which only added to the nerves of the tiny travelling Orient support of just 133 in total but when the referee blew for full time they knew how important these three points could be come the end of the season.

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Millwall and Derby Play Out A Dull Affair

No goals – no excitement – no win for Millwall and visitors Derby County as they drew 0-0 in an incident starved match at the New Den on Tuesday night.

In case you had just creosoted the garden fence in expectancy of another late January frost it might have felt better to watch the creosote dry rather than be haunted by a dire 0-0 draw in freezing temperatures in South London.

The biggest cheer of the night went to Australia international Tim Cahill who was not in Millwall’s squad but was re-introduced to the home fans after his re-signing for the Lions in the transfer window on Monday, on a deal until the end of the season. Oh and how they could have used him on the pitch as the Londoners lacked any sort of creative spark in the middle of the pitch.

Once again Millwall put up the barricades at home in the defence as they had possession of the ball for a measly 41% of the game. This appears to be an ongoing occurrence in almost every home game Millwall have played in over the season and it really is surprising no team has turned up and played them at their own game.

The Lion’s target is obvious for this season, stay in the Championship division and consolidate and look to make inroads on the play off area of the division for next season by hook or by crook. So if you want pretty football then the New Den is not the place to be this season. Maybe next though.

Neil Harris’s game plan is working though at home as the Lion’s are picking up draws and victories with the odd defeat. This conflicts totally to Millwall’s dreadful away record of mostly defeats with the odd draw and even more unique win to keep them on course for a mid table position.

Here they played an in form second placed Derby team looking to take control and possession of the game and come away with three points. It didn’t work as Millwall were resilient to withstand the 59% of possession the visitors had on the night. Yet a lot of the play was in the middle of the park and County couldn’t muster a sausage roll in the wintery conditions let alone a goal.

Millwall’s Harris made three changes to the side that started the previous league game, the superb 4-3 win at Leeds United and seven from Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round draw with Rochdale.

Former Rams trainee James Meredith faced his former club once again, having been part of the side that lost 3-0 at Pride Park just before Christmas and Derby defender Jason Shackell was not eligible to face his parent club due to the terms of his loan deal.

The Lion’s Shaun Hutchinson made a goal saving block to deny Derby’s Matej Vydra while the hosts were not given a penalty when Lee Gregory was caught by a high foot.

Derby County keeper Scott Carson in excellent form between the sticks this term did well to save Jed Wallace’s effort with his legs and at the other end substitute Ikechi Anya did find the net for the visitors seven minutes from time but was correctly flagged offside. A real pity for Anya as he had only been on the pitch for 2 minutes and the first time in a Derby shirt since August.

Still the Londoners moved up a place in the Championship table to 14th above County’s arch rivals Nottingham Forest, but might have taken all three points had Hutchinson been given a spot kick when his shot appeared to strike a Derby hand late on in the match.

As for Derby, they remain in second but have a slim lead over third placed Aston Villa that was cut to one point after the claret and blues won 1-0 at Sheffield United.

Gary Rowett’s Derby side struggled to test Lions’ goalkeeper Jordan Archer throughout the game as Millwall shut up shop fr another valuable point against a top six team.

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O’s Lose Despite 1st Minute Opener

Leyton Orient lost at Brisbane Road 3-2 to promotion chasing Aldershot despite taking a first minute lead in an enthralling encounter in East London.

There were chances galore for both teams and the O’s will be disappointed not to get anything out of the game especially when they went a goal up after just 15 seconds of a defeat that sees the teams below them start to concertina.

After a fantastic honeymoon period for manager Justin Edinburgh, the last couple of games have been a little rough for Leyton Orient and Solihull Motors surprise 3-1 away win at Dagenham and  Redbridge means the O’s are only a tantalising two points above the relegation zone.

Yet Orient were off to an absolute flyer needed only 15 seconds to take the lead as Jobi McAnuff slipped the ball through to Macauley Bonne, who placed it between the goalkeeper’s legs and into an empty net.

Despite this early setback The Shots responded relatively well to such early adversity, however The O’s dominated for long spells in the first-half. Will Evans blocked efforts from Bonne and McAnuff. Ward then had to hold on to McAnuff’s angled shot despite Bonne’s presence in the six-yard-box, but steadily the visitors grew into the game.

Kinsella and McQuoid combined well to set-up McDonnell, whose shot was charged down, and McQuoid himself also had a shot blocked. However, Ward had to make a fine save to stop Holman’s angled drive, and Bonne then sliced his shot wide from seven yards, as Orient threatened to extend their lead which would have ensured great confidence going in to the changing rooms.

Instead Aldershot levelled a minute before the break, with Shamir Fenelon diverting the ball past Dean Brill when played through to give the half-time team talks a different complexion.

A crowd of 5,728 witnessed a lively start to the second half as the Hampshire team forged ahead with the second period just two minutes old when Adam McDonnell’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced down, and before anyone could decide if it had crossed the line or not, Will Evans headed home to make sure and put the decision beyond any doubt.

Orient responded well and Dan Holman won another corner for the hosts on 53 minutes. The driven left wing delivery was met by George Elokobi, whose falling volley from five yards flew past Ward to send the home fans into raptures.

Half chances continued to flow as the game ebbed and flowed towards either penalty area, but it was finally won by Aldershot on 76 minutes. Rendell’s cross field pass was superbly controlled by Kinsella on the left and his touch inside allowed McDonnell to evade a challenge and shoot low from 22 yards. Goalkeeper Dean Brill seemed to have it covered until the ball squirmed underneath him and into the net.

Aldershot protected their lead superbly, including an 83rd minute goalmouth scramble which seemed to last an eternity. Brill clutched Fenelon’s shot but the final opportunity fell to former Shots striker Holman in the fourth minute of stoppage time. A long high ball was flicked on and, from the edge of the penalty area, Holman spun in an instant but the shot flew over the bar.

Almost immediately the boisterous celebrations in the packed away end signalled a potentially pivotal victory as the home fans saw their team slide perilously close to the bottom four of the National League.

The Shots cut the gap at the top of the National League to a point as Macclesfield were held at home by lowly Torquay. Meanwhile for the O’s life is not quite as rosy as a month ago as Barrow one place below them have a game in hand following their game against Sutton United postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Chester and Guiseley were both defeated while as mentioned bottom team Torquay picked up a draw and Solihull a priceless victory.

Plenty of guile, team spirit and strength is required to ensure the O’s get back to winning ways and stay in the National League.

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VAR Makes Historic Debut in Baggies Victory

History was made at Anfield as VAR was used to great effect in a pulsating fixture between Liverpool and West Brom. VAR are not the initials of Liverpool’s new Dutch defender but the Video Assistant Referee. For the first time in an English football fixture the actual referee (Craig Pawson) went to the touchline to use a video monitor to aid in making a penalty decision. As it turned out, Firmino failed to convert said penalty which, as it happens had a dramatic effect on the result.

West Brom subsequently went on to win the game 3-2 and dump the hosts out of the FA Cup. Although VAR certainly had some influence on the game, it was Albion’s forward Jay Rodriguez who outshone even the technology, scoring two goals in a MOTM performance that may have catapaulted him back into England reckoning.

Leicester thump Peterborough 5-1

Leicester enjoyed a pleasant day out at the Abax stadium with a comfortable 5-1 victory. Two goals each from Diabate and Iheanacho plus one in extra time from Ndidi saw the Foxes advance to last 16.

Millwall Scrape Last-Minute Equaliser to Earn Replay

Millwall scored in the 90th minute to earn a replay at home to Rochdale. The Lions who have been close to invincible at home all season lost their way against a team struggling for survival in League One.

The day started well for Millwall after Jed Wallace converted a penalty in the 17th minute. Unfortunately, things got a lot worse for the home team with goals either side of half time for the Northerners. Millwall’s blushes were spared in injury time though by midfielder Ben Thompson. What may have seemed to Millwall fans as an easy progression to the last sixteen now requires a tricky and challenging journey north to keep their cup ambitions alive.

Upset of the Day

Wigan is a town famous for its Rugby League. It is now famous for having knocked Premier League side, West Ham out of this years FA Cup. Whether they made the Londoners play 90 minutes with an oval ball has not been confirmed, but they may as well have as the Hammers offered little in the way of resistance to the League One leaders.

Replays:

Four fixtures ended in stalemate and will be replayed in February Rochdale v Millwall, Birmingham v Huddersfield and Swansea v Notts County will play again on Tuesday 6th. Newport County travel to Wembley to take on Spurs in their replay on Wednesday 7th.

You can find all the latest odds for these fixtures here.

 

ESPORTS – THE FUTURE OF BETTING?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ll no doubt be aware of the rise of eSports. What started with small groups of geeky amateurs in the early to mid 2000’s, has morphed into a giant global phenomena, with many professional teams and multi-million dollar prize funds (and players who look like they’ve actually seen the sun and don’t still live in their mom’s basement).

The most popular games in the early days included MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends, and first person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in addition to Smite, StarCraft II, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Though by the end of 2017, many other games saw prize money in the millions of dollars.

A Meteoric Global Phenomena

Back in 2013, it is thought that just over 70 million people watched eSports, but the rise of online streaming platforms, especially Twitch.tv, has led to a dramatic surge in popularity over the last few years, with Newzoo reporting market research that suggests there were around 150 million eSports “enthusiasts” around the world by 2016, and other estimates putting the global audience at around 226 million (the same research also estimated that 22% of male American millennials were watching eSports – making it about as popular as baseball or hockey with that specific demographic).

In fact, in 2016, eSports events across America sold out, including those at the KeyArena in Seattle, the Nationwide Area in Columbus, Staples Centre in Los Angeles, and Madison Square Garden in New York. Global eSports revenues have skyrocketed accordingly, standing at $493 million in 2016 – up 51.7% from 2015 – and are expected to beat $1.5 billion by 2020.

But, as impressive as the rise of eSports in the US and Europe has been, with the real epicentre of eSports is South Korea – where several eSports organisations have been licensing pro gamers since 2000! China has also seen explosive eSports growth over the past few years, with many new professional teams and competitions appearing.

All About Millennials

It’s hardly surprising that eSports are pretty much a millennial thing (the generation born from the early 80s to around the year 2000), given that they were the first to grow up with video games. What is more surprising perhaps, is the relative indifference that the established betting industry has shown to eSports, considering that millennials are now adults, with disposable income, and a passion for gaming!

A closer look may provide clues to this indifference and slow reaction to eSports. Firstly, there is the inescapable fact that most established sportsbooks are run by ‘GenX’s’ and ‘Boomers’ –  generations that tend to have a hard time accepting that eSports are actually ‘sports,’ or that people really make a profession of playing video games!

Secondly, the sheer speed with which eSports have emerged as a major global ‘thing’ has been quite startling, and sportsbooks with established business models have simply been caught off guard. This has been exacerbated by the fact that many of the biggest bookmakers are based in the west, whereas much of the driving force for the growth of eSports has been coming from Asia – specifically South Korea and China.

Thirdly, there are the peculiarities of eSports and millennials to consider. A large proportion of millennials won’t have had any significant exposure to sports betting – but are instead coming from a purely video gaming background. This means they have entirely different expectations and demands. To put it bluntly, most current sportsbooks are too bland and clunky to appeal to a generation raised on console games and on-demand interactive entertainment.

To really engage this demographic, sportsbooks need to massively improve their graphics and user experience, gamify their product, and embrace artificial intelligence to provide real-time, dynamic micro-betting. Millennial eSports betters are more likely to make frequent small, spontaneous bets on live games, than to fill in traditional betting slips, or place sizable bets on pre-set markets.

Of course, marketing and customer relations also need to evolve to cater for a generation raised on social media and almost immune to traditional advertising methods. The success of Steam – the digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation – that incorporates a thriving online gaming community into it’s very fabric, is a good indicator of the direction the industry should be moving in.

The Future?

Slowly the sports betting industry is waking up to eSports, and beginning to deliver something that will appeal to the rapidly growing eSports community. Whilst it’s true that eSports isn’t likely to rival football in terms of sheer popularity or statistics for many years, it is here to stay, is growing extremely quickly, and offers immense opportunities for fans, players, and the sports betting community as a whole.

When eSports are considered as just a part of a of rapidly evolving online gaming, virtual reality, and blockchain technology environment, the possibilities for innovation and growth are pretty much limitless. Whilst the sports betting industry may have been rather slow in embracing eSports, there are signs that this is changing, and we can expect to see some very exciting developments over the coming months and years.

It’s with this in mind, that EnergyBet, the multi-award winning sportsbook from the team behind EnergyCasino, now offer a range of eSports betting, including Counter-Strike: Go, League of Legends, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch – all in an easy-to-use format that stands apart from traditional sportsbooks.

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Lions Beat Leeds In Classic

Millwall stunned Leeds United in an absolute classic by 4 goals to 3 with the home side down to ten men at Elland Road following the sending off of Leeds player Liam Cooper in the first half.

The Lions have suffered a torrid affair on the road this campaign but pulled the rabbit out of the hat with this unlikely victory in Yorkshire thanks to a stoppage time winner from Jed Wallace.

This superb win for the Londoners sees them rise a place to 15th in the table and dare I say beautiful and relative security just what Neil Harris would have asked for this side of the New Year.

The Londoners look fairly secure and this rare away win was exactly what the Doctor ordered.

Millwall went 2-0 up through Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory, but only after Millwall were 1-0 up that we saw Liam Cooper sent off before the break for a late challenge on George Saville.  When Gregory pounced for the second you could imagine it was all over but Leeds refused to lay down and capitulate.

A brace from Pierre-Michel Lasogga, either side of Kemar Roofe’s smart finish, put Leeds 3-2 up beyond all of the expectations of the home fans.

Tom Elliott equalised for Millwall late on and unexpectedly they snatched the three points through Jed Wallace’s late dramatic deflected effort.

This win for Neil Harris’ side was their first away from home this season and left Leeds three points adrift of the play-off places.

Millwall started well with O’Brien denied by Felix Wiedwald inside the first minute and Wallace having a goal disallowed for offside before the former headed in from Steve Morison’s cross to the far post. Former Leeds man Morison then contributed his second assist of the day when Gregory tapped in his low centre from point-blank range.

So It looked like game over for Leeds when Cooper’s sending off, Leeds’ third in as many games – left them with 10 men for the final 53 minutes.

Yet totally expectantly and with the Millwall defence half asleep, within 30 seconds of the restart, Lasogga had pulled a goal back after Shaun Williams missed his clearance, and it was quickly 2-2 when Roofe bundled the ball in after a goalmouth scramble. The Leeds fans hit the roof thanks to Roofe.

Incredibly, Leeds United then took the lead when Pablo Hernandez found Lasogga to finish superbly from 25 yards, but Elliott’s low shot, with just three minutes of normal time remaining, levelled it up once more.

There was still time for a dramatic finish as Leeds surrendered possession, Millwall broke and Wallace’s shot gave his side all three points.

If the fans looked astounded so did the players but a fantastic win for Millwall.

An inflated Millwall boss Neil Harris said afterwards:

“I thought my team, first half, 11 v 11, were outstanding. We could have scored six or seven goals. We came in at half-time 2-0 up, and I said, ‘Boys – don’t step off. If we’d have come in at 6-0, it would have been no disgrace. But it’s all about character. Elland Road, 35,000 – any momentum Leeds get, they’re going to build off. Give them nothing.’

“Then we gave them three goals in 15 minutes. Fair play to Leeds, because that was some hell of a performance from them – but we shouldn’t put ourselves in that position.”

Meanwhile Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen feeling rather deflated said:

“I’m feeling very bad. Of course, I cannot be satisfied with the result and the way we did the first half. We shoot ourselves in our feet and make it very difficult. Every game we see a stupid red card and we cannot afford that.

“It could be a red card or it could be a yellow card. It’s a red from the point of view of the referee and we have to learn. We spoke about discipline this week – it was not because of a spit or a provocation, but because he went in strong.”

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1025 Days of Hurt

Paul Lambert’s return to the Premier League sees Stoke city beat Huddersfield. It has been 1025 days since Paul Lambert has managed in the Premier League. Lambert was sacked from his role as Aston Villa manager in 2015 following their slide into the relegation zone. He replaced Mark Hughes who was dismissed by Stoke City for the same reason. Lambert watched from the stands as Stoke were beaten 3-0 by Manchester United on Monday. Fast forward to Saturday and his first real game in charge saw them beat Huddersfield 2-0. The win takes them one point off the relegation zone. Not exactly safe, but, moving in the right direction.

Do you think Paul Lambert is the man to keep Stoke City in the Premier League? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below…

Missed opportunity for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur missed an opportunity to go level with Liverpool as they could only manage a draw with Southampton. Spurs remain in fifth place after failing to beat the Saints. Mauricio Pellegrino though, whose job must surely be under scrutiny, will have been happy with a draw.

Hughton’s Brighton, humbled by Chelsea

Antonio Conte must have been happy with the way his side defeated Brighton. It was an impressive display from a Chelsea team oozing style and flair. Despite missing key players including the suspended Morata, Chelsea brushed aside Brighton, who have won only once in their last 13 games in the Premier League.

Who needs Sanchez anyway!

Manchester City dropped out of the race to sign Sanchez from Arsenal, which Pep Guardiola said was for financial reasons. This left Sergio Aguero in an enviable bargaining position come contract renewal day. Aguero hit a hat trick against Newcastle at the Etihad and again emphasised why he is so valuable to the Sky Blues.

Spirited display from Burnley earns Mourinho’s praise

Sean Dyche’s Burnley received praise from Mourinho following Manchester United’s hard fought 1-0 victory at Turf Moor. Mourinho admitted that Burnley’s hard, physical, direct style of play made it difficult for United. Only a moment of class by the often under-rated (by Mourinho) Anthony Martial, managed to break the deadlock. Curiously, Martial, who has scored in his last three games for the Reds, is one of the players who must feel most under threat with the pending arrival of Sanchez from Arsenal.

Where will Sanchez fit into the United team? Who will make way? Post your comments down below…

Millwall. Super Millwall!

Big shout out to EnergyBet partners Millwall for their amazing 4-3 victory over Leeds United at the weekend. The game saw two incredible come backs, as Millwall let a 2-0 lead slip away to be 3-2 down to the Yorkshire side with only three minutes to go. Millwall’s Tom Elliott levelled the scores in the 87th minute and victory was sealed with Jed Wallace’s stoppage time goal. These were 3 vital away points for Millwall, whose home form has been impressive, but they have been let down by some largely mediocre performances away from home.

Energy Gets Shortlisted, Again

Yet again, an Energy brand has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award. Energy.Partners, the exclusive affiliate program representing EnergyCasino and EnergyBet, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Global Gaming Awards, London.

The Global Gaming Awards work to celebrate and recognise innovation and success in the online gaming world, covering everything from retail sites to sportsbooks, and this year the panel received hundreds of nominations – so to be shortlisted in the final ten for a category is quite an achievement in itself.

This latest nomination follows hot on the heels of a very successful few years for the Energy family, with EnergyBet winning the 2017 Malta iGaming Excellence in Customer Service Award, and the 2016 SBC Rising Star in Sports Betting award, plus Energy.Partners having been shortlisted for the 2017 Global Gaming Awards, Las Vegas.

Norbert Varga, speaking for Energy said, “To be shortlisted for another Global Gaming Award means a great deal to the whole team here at Energy. We work hard all year round to provide the very best service and product to our customers, and for our friends across the industry to recognise that is a big boost, whether we win or not.”

Receiving such recognition from industry peers, demonstrates just how committed the Energy team is to providing a truly exceptional service across the entire Energy family, from the casino and sportsbook, to the affiliate program.

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iGB Affiliate Awards 2017 Highlights

Extra Time O’s Winner Beats Stubborn Bognor

A wonder goal from substitute Josh Koroma half way through extra time gave Leyton Orient an FA Trophy victory down in Sussex against a plucky Bognor Regis team.

In Orient’s first ever outing in the competition the Londoners were expected to win fairly comfortably against a Bognor Regis team struggling in the National League South.

However despite going down to ten men after French midfielder Richard Gilot was sent off for the home team on the hour the Sussex team refused to lay down and die and gave the Londoners plenty to think about in a tough contest where both teams were taking no prisoners to the delight of a large crowd by the seaside.

Jimmy Muitt scored a fantastic goal from 25 yards in the last minute to equalise for Bognor after Macauley Bonne had given the visitors the lead and take the game into extra time. However a smashing strike from distance by Josh Koroma ensured Orient go into the hat for the next round of the FA Trophy with manager Justin Edinburgh talking of winning the competition.

Orient had looked to have won it inside the 90 minutes when Macauley Bonne glanced in a close-range header with eight minutes left, only for Muitt to send the home fans loopy with a 25 yard missile that arrowed into the top corner with a minute left.

Sub Josh Koroma broke battling Bognor’s hearts by restoring the Londoners’ lead just before the midway point of the extra 30 minutes. Bognor sprang a surprise by naming new French midfielder Richard Gilot in the starting line-up. Gilot came in for Ben Swallow, who was starting a three-match ban after his red card against Havant on New Year’s Day but it backfired for the hosts as Gilot himself was shown the red card.

Bognor started well although it was end to end stuff and a decent spell of possession saw Harvey Whyte cross from the left and Orient had to clear it for a corner. Calvin Davies’ high ball down the right put Ibra Sekajja in with a sight of goal and his thunderous volley was brilliantly saved by Brill.

An evenly matched first half saw the game goalless. The first action of the second half saw Bognor threaten as Sekajja’s shot hit the side netting. However, the game changed on 59 minutes as Gilot was sent off as he brought down Orient full-back Jake Cappice as he advanced towards the area and it was a clear yellow, his second of the afternoon. Orient attacked and Harrold’s header at the far post brought a superb reaction save from Lincoln. Bonne had the ball in the net in the 73rd minute but the offside flag was up as the striker slid in Cappice’s ball in from the right.

Davies shot from a free kick looked to be going in but a fine smart save by Brill just did enough to thwart the lurking Sekajja. With just eight minutes of the 90 left, Leyton Orient finally got the breakthrough. A right-sided corner wasn’t cleared by the Bognor defence and finally it fell to Bonne to glance in a header from a couple of yards out.

The Rocks were level with one minute to go. Orient gave possession to Bognor in the visitors’ half and a short pass was played to Muitt 25 yards from goal and he pile drove the sweetest of strikes that flew beyond the diving Brill and into the very top corner of the goal, sparking crazy scenes all around the ground before the ref blew for extra time.

Immediately Cappice’s shot appeared to be tipped on to the post by Lincoln before Reynolds blasted the rebound over the bar. Reynolds missed another chance as Orient began to look the stronger side towards the end of the first half of extra-time. Sure enough their second goal arrived when another corner was cleared to sub Koroma who, from around 25 yards, curled a beauty beyond Lincoln and into the top corner.

Orient somehow failed to score a killer third in a breakaway when they had two men up to one defender – Lincoln twice making brilliant saves to keep them out. With time ticking away in the second half the wasteful Reynolds blasted another chance over the bar before the whistle went to signal an Orient win.

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Manchester City’s Unbeaten Run Ends

Liverpool become the first team this season to defeat the Sky Blues! It was billed as the game of the weekend, probably the game of the season and maybe even (as it turns out) the game of 2018. Manchester City travelled to Anfield, to take on the mighty reds and suffered their first defeat of the season.

This game fully lived up to the hype and saw Liverpool leading City by 4 goals to 1 at one stage. City though showed their mettle in coming back to 4-3 and came close to equalising in the dying seconds of the game.

It was Liverpool’s finest hour and despite having sold Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million hours earlier and new signing Van Dijk being sidelined it was a dominant display from the Reds. The closing 25 minutes were nervy though as Manchester City fought to avoid the inevitable and came close to doing so. Klopp’s Liverpool hung on though for a deserved win in what was a very, very good match.

The Hammers 4 The Clackers 1

They love their ‘clackers’ at the Kirklees stadium. Clackers if you don’t know are those contraptions that make an awful noise and that are handed out in the family stands for the girls and young children to wave around above their heads at every opportunity. Whatever happened to singing fan anthems eh? Huddersfield seem to especially love them. It seems, as though the entire crowd (except the visitors) have one in their hands. They are Huddersfield’s equivalent of the Vuvuzela.

Clackers didn’t help them this week though as they got ‘hammered’ 4-1 by West Ham in a display that will have pleased new manager David Moyes. West Ham are now unbeaten in their last four games and have climbed to 11th in the league.

Awful Arsenal lose more ground on the top four

Arsenal took on the Cherries at Dean court and were well and truly given the pip. Arsene Wenger said after the game that he could not understand how his team lost. The reality was it was because they were terrible.

Arsenal did take the lead with a goal from Hector Bellerin after 52 minutes but a spirited fight back from Bournemouth saw them score two goals in the space of four minutes to heap more misery on Arsenal. Wenger who is probably having a tough enough time as it is trying to keep his squad together seemed uncertain of the fate of their star striker Sanchez. Will he be City or United bound? The next 48 hours should see an answer to this conundrum.

West Brom happy with the win. Sad at the loss.

Alan Pardew picked up his first win in the Premier League with a 2-0 home victory against Brighton. This saw the end of a 20-match streak without a win for the Baggies and was a joyful moment for perennially ‘under pressure’ Pardew.

Sadly, many West Brom fans will still have been celebrating this victory when news of the death of local favourite Cyril Regis was announced at the age of only 59. Regis scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for the Baggies.

 

Late Preston Goal Pegs Back The Lions

A goal for Preston’s Callum Robinson ten minutes from time was enough to deny Millwall another home win in a 1-1 draw at the Den.

Millwall were offered no help by a determined Lancashire team in a rough and tough Championship scrap after Aiden O’Brien had given the Londoners a first half advantage.

A whopping 30 fouls were committed in a game in which both reams were well…. Committed. The away side had far more possession than Millwall, a startling 61% of the game and yet managed just the three shots on target. If that sounds poor then the fact Millwall had just the single shot during the match speaks volumes. Preston came into the knowing a win could put them into the play off positions so they shut up shop from the off and let Millwall do all the running and chasing. The ploy worked a treat eventually but for large swathes of the second half it looked as though Millwall were heading for a fourth win in five home league games.

At home the Lions have been the real deal this season helping Millwall’s bid for survival no end. Following promotion from League One in May via the play-offs their reliance on staying up has been built on their home form so far this campaign and this point leaves them sitting fairly safe in 16th but they must not rest on their laurels. Despite the Lions picking up 25 of their 31 points in south east London, they are yet to win away from The Den since their return to the Championship.

So the game plan on the road needs to change and a couple of away wins would be extremely welcome.

Preston are 10th in the table, just two points off the play-off places, having only lost one of their last 11 league matches, while Millwall remain seven points above the relegation zone.

It was Aiden O’Brien who opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, steering Jed Wallace’s low cross from the right wing into the bottom corner of the Preston net.

It could have been the winner if it were not for Callum Robinson’s equaliser with only 10 minutes left on the clock, chesting in from a couple of metres out after latching on to Greg Cunningham’s ball.

In fact it could have been even worse for the home team as Preston could have taken all three points, however James Meredith blocked Daryl Horgan’s shot with the clock running down.

Before this Millwall’s Lee Gregory thought he had scored a second, only to be flagged offside while Robinson meanwhile, was a constant threat for the Lilywhites, testing Jordan Archer from range and sending two other efforts off target in the first half before finally sneaking in behind a half asleep Millwall defence to grab a deserved point for the visitors in front of a crowd of 11,751.

 

Millwall boss Neil Harris had a few words of regret:

“When you’re 1-0 up at home at half-time, it’s disappointing not to get three points but they’re a good side, a competitive side, an aggressive side in the way they press and the way they play. They’re a team that’ll be in the top six come end of the season.

“But I thought there were two very fine calls today. Both should have gone our favour. Ben Pearson should have been sent off because it was identical to Jake Cooper’s second yellow card at Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season, so I don’t understand that one and secondly, Lee Gregory goes through one-on-one and was clearly three yards onside. I’ve watched it through two different angles and he was clearly onside. Two fine margin decisions at 1-0 that could have affected the outcome of the game.”

Preston manager Alex Neil said:

“I think it’s harsh to say Ben Pearson should have seen a red card. I thought the first booking was really disappointing and he didn’t really deserve it, and I think Ben’s frustration was the same as mine.

“Within a game, there are a lot of 50-50 decisions and you’re hoping they’re going to get spotted evenly. I feel we didn’t get our fair share.

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