• Callum Pattison

Football from the Vault: Leyton Orient 2-0 Gateshead 01/12/18

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Every week I will be going back in time and reminiscing about past football and away day experiences. There's a lot to choose from making it an impossible task to select a game off the top of my head therefore I came up with an idea. Using the Futbology app, I have went through all of the games I have been to and decided to pick about 60 that stand out for one reason or another. These games have been placed into a random name generator and will be drawn at random. The first one of the series takes us to December 2018, Leyton Orient away with Gateshead.

This is the perfect example of the football not being the be-all and end-all of an away day. To be perfectly honest, the football was absolutely dire from a Gateshead perspective.

One of the things that made this trip to London so enjoyable was the fact that it was planned so late. I was never going to go to this game but that's always the famous last words isn't it? My arm got twisted and when the words 'football' and 'beer' get mentioned then that's always gonna be a complete gamechanger in my eyes.

So with this day being planned rather late (about 2 or 3 days before the match) that didn't really leave much time for sorting out travel. Obviously the first concern is how much transport will be, especially with how much trains can cost these days. However, MegabusUK saved the day. I paid about £7 for a single trip from Birmingham to London and I paid £3 for a train from where I was living in Wolverhampton to get to Birmingham. The only main stumbling block was getting out of bed at 4am in order to make it on time for the bus that was leaving for London Victoria at about 6.15am. These are the things we do sometimes for our clubs.

Also, this is the only time I have ever gotten a Megabus to an away day so that was quite a unique experience in itself. There was no issues though as I made sure I was well stocked up for the journey with some cheap cans of French lager from Asda - don't knock it till you try it. Not to mention MC Rockeye was blasting through my earphones on Soundcloud. What a dream.

I was in London for mid-morning leaving plenty of time to sample the typically expensive, overprized alcohol of London. Me and a few of the lads who had travelled down from Newcastle Station met outside Kings Cross and went to the Dolphin bar just over the road. It was definitely something like £5 for a pint.

After a couple of drinks in there we got the tube over to Leyton with still a good few hours to go until kick off. We went to the Leyton Technical which is a pub walking distance from Brisbane Road. We sunk a couple more pints in there before heading to the clubhouse bar at the ground. For me, I find it a bit boring staying in the same place before an away day so it was nice to be able to move around a go to a few different places.

The clubhouse bar was great. The Orient fans were incredibly welcoming and appreciative of our fans making the long trip down from the North East... or West Midlands in my case. I made sure to enjoy the atmosphere around the bar for my last couple of drinks before the game because, if I'm completely honest, I wasn't expecting us to get anything from the game. We had won our last game away at Barnet 2-1 but prior to that we had only picked up 1 point out of 12 and were hanging by a thread in that last playoff spot. Leyton Orient were also top of the National League at the time and eventually would become champions.

This was my first visit to Brisbane Road, I was gutted I wasn't there the season before in the FA Trophy where we came from 3-0 to get a 3-3 draw.

For my first impressions of the ground I was impressed. The stadium has a unique look from the inside as the corners have been filled in with what looks like flats or apartment blocks. It's something different and I like it. The atmosphere from the home fans was also quite good. They were noisy for sure but who wouldn't have been when they were playing great football and flying at the top of the league.

First half was quite dull though with only a few chances. The best chance was for Orient right before half time where Josh Koroma, now at Huddersfield Town, hit the bar with a strike from about 30 yards out.

It was that man again Koroma who put the O's 1-0 up about an hour in. He cut in from the left down where the away fans were, drove into the box and fired into the top corner past Aynsley Pears.

We had a couple of chances in the 2nd half through Steven Rigg and Tom White but we couldn't find that equaliser. We just looked quite sluggish all day in the final third and to be honest, I don't even think the Orient defence needed to do much to keep us from scoring. Bonne wrapped it up for Orient deep in stoppage time after being unselfishly set up by James Alabi to make it 2-0. Greg Olley was also sent off for the Heed after getting a second yellow card for a lazy trip as Orient were breaking. That was pretty much the last act of the game.

Well, it was definitely not the best of games as a Gateshead fan but it was still such a great day. The type of day that seems like a distant memory since the pandemic has swept the globe. For me, it's also those last minute, spontaneous trips that can be the most enjoyable as well.

I also think it's worth mentioning that there were 51 Heed fans there that day. Not too shabby for a 550 mile round trip right before Christmas for one of the smallest fanbases in the league at the time.

We had one pint in the clubhouse bar after the game before heading for home. The home supporters were still great after the match and unsurprisingly in high spirits. I was pleased for them at the end of the season when they pipped Salford and went up as champions. They're a great club with a large fanbase and full of history and tradition. They for sure deserve their place back in the Football League.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Ling (Lawless 68), Ekpiteta, Coulson, Widdowson, McAnuff, Clay, Gorman (Brophy 75), Dayton (Alabi 86), Koroma, Bonne

Goals: Koroma (58), Bonne (90)

Gateshead: Pears, Tinkler, Kerr, Williamson, Mellish (O'Donnell 77), Barrow, White, Olley, Molyneux (Rigg 64), Armstrong, Boden

Attendance: 4,636 (51)

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