After being home to the Penalty miss fairy during the lion’s share of the season, Orient finally saw the back of it on Saturday. It left, but not for parts unknown.
If there is one thing you need to know about Jinxes it is that they are inherently lazy creatures. On top of that they are extremely keen on continuity. But they do get bored. With Orient missing out on a few penalty shouts recently. The fact that the game against Stevenage was devoid of anything close to a penalty decision, much thanks to Trevor Kettle’s refereeing prowess, may have prompted the Jinx to leave.
Brisbane Road looked on with slack-jawed surprise as Lloyd James put away not one, but two spot kicks in the same game. The four corners of the stadium gasped with awe as there even was the briefest of struggle for the ball when the first penalty was given. Chris Dagnall was, as they say, keen to try his luck from eleven meters (sorry I do not do Imperial).
Fairies are mostly rather small and look harmless when you actually notice them. But they can cause you a world of harm if you cross them. This could explain why Dean Cox tried to coax today’s referee into awarding Orient, and James, a hat-trick of penalties. He, probably more than any other player in the squad, had it in him to feel the tiny changes of cosmic energies. Problem was that the referee totally lacked the sensitivity of Orient’s tricky winger. Instead of the expected three-times-the-charm all mr Ward produced was a yellow card. So much for listening to your inner fairy-detector.
The decision to leave is never taken lightly by a Jinx fairy. The road to travel mustn’t be arduous, and it’s new home should give it some sense of familiarity. If you know where, and what to look for, the travelling habits of a Jinx are pretty easy to track. This particular Penalty miss fairy made the passably short journey from East London to Wessex. The outskirts of Colchester to be more exact. There it lashed onto the pulsating aura of one former Leyton Orient striker. Nowadays wearing blue and white stripes. At about 4.30 pm GMT Jabo Ibehre stepped up to the penalty spot at the Weston Homes Community Stadium to put the U’s level. That the opponents, Preston North End, was the last team Orient played when a spot kick was awarded probably made the fairy even more keen to enjoy the moment. Jabo failed to convert and O’s fairy had found a new home!
Jinxes in residence usually leave a mark. A residual force that is sometimes noticed by more benevolent fairies. At times one of these beings may decide to stick around the Jinx’s old home to undo some of the bad things the previous fairy has caused. So if you look around Brisbane Road on your next visit. With an open mind of course. You just might catch a glimpse of the Clean Sheet fairy currently riding the ends of Eldin Jakupovic’s flowing locks of hair. But be careful, whatever you do - don’t spook it!
With Orient at the top of the League One table let me just close with a little something for the doom and gloomers. Next weekend Orient entertain Colchester at the Matchroom Stadium. Let us hope that the Jinx, when getting a fresh look at it’s old hunting grounds, doesn’t change it’s mind and decide to move back in. Pray that those sad slabs of concrete in an empty field in Essex feel more like home now than the busy streets of East London. You never know with fairies!