The FA Cup third round match between Leyton Orient and Fulham, played at Craven Cottage last Sunday, was definitely the best football match I’ve been to. There were nearly 6000 Orient fans there, compared to a usual home gate receipt of under 5000, and all crammed together with the sole intention of shouting abuse at a premiership side. Little did we really expect the added bonus of winning!
The Orient team played fantastically well, really going for every ball and, apart from some backing off in defence, not being in awe of the team 3 leagues ahead of them. The crowd being so much behind them must help and I think for Fulham it may have felt more like an away match. Seeing our team 2-0 up at half time was unbelievable and felt like it was what was needed to have a good chance in the match: Fulham always looked like they could score and there were a few occasions where they carved straight through the defence. However, even with the goal taking it to 2-1, they were hanging on, although we thought it was going to be at best a draw and a replay at Brisbane Road when Zakuani conceded a penalty. Garner, somehow, saved it, and we felt that it was going to be our day.
Next stop: Charlton in the 4th round on January 28th.