Get me to the ground on time!
Leyton Orient 3 Gillingham 1 THE Gillingham players had awful problems getting to Brisbane Road and following Tuesday night s defeat they must have wondered why they bothered turning up at all, writes TREVOR DAVIES. The closure of the A12 resulted in tra
Leyton Orient 3
THE Gillingham players had awful problems getting to Brisbane Road and following Tuesday night's defeat they must have wondered why they bothered turning up at all, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
The closure of the A12 resulted in traffic chaos around the ground and the Gillingham players who had made the journey in their own cars were caught in the thick of it.
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It looked as if they might have to start the game with nine players at one stage and with all their kit stuck en route, Gillingham were forced to play in Orient shirts!
O's boss Geraint Williams admitted afterwards: "Preparations were disrupted for both sides and it wasn't ideal. But we didn't want any excuses and so we set our minds to prepare properly and be ready to start the game on time."
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To avoid problems, some of the O's players travelled in on the tube and they could not have made a better start against their shell-shocked visitors.
Gillingham, without an away win all season, fell behind to a wonder strike from Ryan Jarvis on four minutes and although Curtis Weston, 26 on the team-sheet, but wearing a number five shirt, levelled, excellent strikes from Sean Thornton and Jimmy Smith, put the issue beyond doubt.
Jarvis, who had scored just two league goals this term, gave O's the perfect tonic on four minutes.
A raking cross from Charlie Daniels found Jimmy Smith on the right and when the ball fell loose to the Orient striker he sent a stunning first-time drive from 15 yards into the net.
But Gillingham had their moments as Jamie Jones saved well from Danny Jackman, before he was left to pick the ball out of the net on 20 minutes.
Mark McCammon was given too much space and was able to fire in a fierce shot from 25 yards that Jones could only parry and Weston followed up to net the rebound.
The game was played at a high pace and tempo and looked full of goals and on 28 minutes the home fans were treated to a real cracker.
Thornton picked up a loose ball and drove forward, before unleashing a shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner.
The dangerous Simeon Jackson tested Jones again before Jarvis should have added to Orient's tally.
The striker, so deadly early on, showed his other side, when Scott McGleish sent him clean through, but Simon Royce saved his close-range shot.
After the break, Orient quickly struck a third. Luke Summerfield made a great run from the half-way line and fed Smith, who cut in before curling a shot into the top corner.
Jones made another good save, this time from former O's loanee Andy Barcham and then denied Jackson.
While Orient had further chances as Andros Townsend, a constant menace, set up McGleish, who shot just wide.
O's substitute Adrian Patulea could have added a fourth, but was denied by an excellent save from Royce late on.
Orient boss Williams was delighted with the win: "They were three top quality goals," he smiled afterwards.
The win lifted O's to 17th and he added: "It's nice to get past 20 points. I would have liked to have done it sooner, but now we have got to get past the 30- point barrier as soon as we can.
"We have got to put a run together. We have taken six points from the last three games, but have got to start averaging two points a game over a six-match period and not just do it over two or three."
Orient: Jones 7, Purches 7, Chorley 7, Mkandawire 6, Daniels 7, N Smith 8, Thornton 6 (Demetriou 56 mins), Summerfield 6, Townsend 7, McGleish 7, Jarvis 7 (Patulea 66 mins). Subs: Morris, Ashworth, Melligan, Cave-Brown, Scowcroft.
Attendance: 3,183 (including 711 Gillingham fans).
Orient bookings: None.