Monday, 30 May 2022

Leyton Orient - Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient FC
The Matchroom Stadium
Brisbane Road
E10 5NF

0871 310 1881
Official Website

Ground Number: 99
Saturday 20th November 2004
Leyton Orient 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca Cola League 2


1:  The club was established in 1881 as Glyn Cricket Club with the players wanting to play a winter sport. From 1886 until 1888, they were called Eagle Cricket Club. From 1888 until 1946, they were known as Clapton Orient. They changed their name to Leyton Orient in following the end of the Second World War and have retained that identity to this day, aside from between 1966 and 1987 when they were known as Orient.
 2:  The 12 history books written on the club by its historian Neilson N. Kaufman between 1974 and 2015 suggest that the choice of the name Orient came about at the behest of a player, Jack R Dearing, who was an employee of the Orient Steam Navigation Company, later part of P&O – Peninsular & Oriental.

3:  The club's initial home was at the cricket club in Glyn Road. From 1886 until 1930, they played at the Clapton Stadium on Millfields. Primarily a greyhound stadium, it had a capacity of 35,000 at its height of operation. However, high rental costs saw them decamp to the Lea Bridge stadium in Walthamstow. The ground was beset with issues though and they had to find alternative venues such as Wembley and Highbury, following complaints from opponents. They've been at Brisbane Road since 1938, developing it over the years to meet their needs. 

4:  The club played in the London League and Southern League prior to joining the Football League in 1905. Following a 112 year stint, they returned to non-league for a couple of seasons, finishing mid-table during 2017/18 but winning the title the following year. 

5:  The club's highest position came in 1963 when they spent their only season in the top flight, finishing bottom. This was following on from the 1961/62 season when they finished as runners up to Liverpool in the 2nd Division. Their lowest position was rock bottom of the Football League in 2017. 

6:  Cup highlights include reaching the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1978. They overcame Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea & Middlesbrough before losing 3-0 to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. This century has not been too kind to them though, with defeats to Margate, Maidstone United and Maldon & Tiptree in the last 20 years. Their best run in the League Cup came in 1963 when they lost in the Quarter Finals to Bury. The club also made the finals of the FA Trophy in 2019 and the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1977.  

7:  Probably the most well-known part of Leyton Orient in popular culture is the 1995 documentary 'Orient: Club For A Fiver'. Originally shot by student Jo Trehearne as part of a project, it was so memorable that it was commissioned by Channel 4. 1994-5 would be one of Orient's worst seasons ever. The team failed to win away from home all season and suffered a run of eight games where they failed to score at all. Finishing bottom of the table, they ended the season with a run of nine straight defeats. Manager John Sitton went on some memorable rants, famously sacking a player at halftime during a defeat to Blackpool. The trouble mainly came about after owner Tony Wood's coffee business collapsed because of far more serious events in Rwanda. In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin.

8:  The madness continued into the next season. Orient's relegation did not spark an upturn in form and the club finished near the bottom of what is now League 2. However, for once the madness came from their opponents during Bobby Gould's crazy spell as Wales boss. That is covered at length elsewhere and this game is just the tip of the iceberg. Wales were preparing for a game against San Marino and Gould fixed up a friendly against Orient as he thought that would be ideal preparation. The idea backfired as Leyton Orient won 2-1, the winner coming from Peter Garland, recently released by Charlton Athletic.


9: Famous Leyton Orient fans include  Bob Mills (comedian and radio presenter), Daniel Mays (actor who played Jim Keats in Ashes To Ashes and the investigation officer in 'Des' - a film about Dennis Nilsen) and Andrew Lloyd-Webber (classical music) 

10:  The players to have played for both Leyton Orient and Wycombe Wanderers are numerous. The best from a Chairboys perspective include:

Terry Howard - famously sacked in the aforementioned documentary, went on to have a great spell with Wycombe

Peter Garland - a good loan spell with Wycombe in 1995, went on to score that winner against Wales

Paul Hyde- a goalkeeper who won promotion to the Football League with Wycombe

Darren Currie - skilful midfielder, nephew of Tony Currie

Scott McGleish - prolific goalscorer for several clubs

Michael Simpson - a battling midfielder who played 339 times for Wycombe

Scott Kashket - Midfielder / Striker bombed out of Orient by their antisemitic owner Francesco Becchetti, just one of many despicable acts by him. Recovered to have an excellent career at Wycombe but was released last year and joined Crewe Alexandra.

VISIT 1: ORIENT 1-2 WYCOMBE (L2 - 20/11/04)

My first visit to Brisbane Road came in November 2004. Wycombe were still reeling from the poor form under, and the departure of Manager Tony Adams. In charge were Keith Ryan and Steve Brown, 2 Wycombe legends who had the full support of the crowd. Wycombe had not won for 10 games and things looked bleak when Wayne Carlisle gave Orient a 28th minute lead from a free-kick. After half time though, the game changed and it took just 3 minutes from the restart for Nathan Tyson to get the equaliser. And it was a huge weight off Wycombe's shoulders when Roger Johnson got the winner on 67 minutes. The match had a punch up after David Hunt was sent off for a high tackle on Tyson, but it was the 3 points that meant the most to the travelling support.

VISIT 2: ORIENT 1-0 WYCOMBE (L2 - 25/03/06)

This visit was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I'd been to Charlton v Middlesbrough on the Thursday night and had consumed a Chicken Biriyani that had not been cooked properly before the game. So come midnight I was being sick, had stomach cramps and was sh*tting through the eye of the needle. I was told by the doctor that it was due to the rice being reheated.

Anyway, I felt like dirt, and come kick-off I had not eaten for 36 hours at kick-off time. But I was in the midst of a 7-year run without missing a game and there was no way I was going to miss this one. Though Wycombe put in a reasonable performance we lost 1-0 to add to my woes. Though at least I was recovering from my illness and I eat my first meal in 2 days when I got home.

VISIT 3: ORIENT 2-0 WYCOMBE (L1 - 01/05/10)

Wycombe had been taken over by Gary Waddock midway through this season, and had improved greatly after a dismal start under Peter Taylor who played dire football. The on pitch style improved greatly though the results took a while to improve. This game was our last chance saloon and though we gave the playoff chasing O's a good game we went down 2-0 and were relegated. The team were still given a good reception by the fans though at the end as we went down fighting, unlike our previous relegation under Tony Adams.

VISIT 4: ORIENT 1-3 WYCOMBE (L1 - 16/08/11)

Wycombe gained their first win of the season at Leyton Orient, with goals from Ben Strevens, Joel Grant and Scott Donnelly. Orient were struggling at the time but fate would decree that they would stay up and Gary Waddock would get Wycombe relegated for the second time, amidst ownership troubles and threats to the ownership of out ground. Waddock took a much more pragmatic approach this time round and the football was not great - nor were the results with twin 6-0 defeats to Huddersfield Town - both live on Sky. This at least was a good day out, with me discovering the Punjabi Grill and having a couple of pints with fellow Chairboys in a local pub.

VISIT 5: ORIENT 1-1 WYCOMBE (L1 - 19/09/15)

On the day of the game I woke up at 8.30. I played Football Manager for half an hour before having a bath and getting some breakfast. By 10.15 I was ready to go and so after popping into Iceland and getting some diet Irn Bru and some chicken I parked up in a road around 5 minutes walk from Amersham station and caught the 10.49 train to Liverpool Street. Around an hour and a 5 minutes later I was at my destination and I walked the 5 minutes to Williams Ale &  Cider House and had a pint of Gwatkin No Bull. It was very nice but a little too sweet for my liking and it was very pricey at £4.80 a pint. Even at the Wetherspoons away from the station it was £4.10 for a  pint of Strongbow Dark Fruits.

I'd had enough of expensive central London and so I got back onto the train and made the 20 minute trip to Leyton. It was 1.30 by now and so I went for a pint in the  Leyton Orient supporters club which was very good, even though they only did Westons (albeit 4 different types) After I'd had some Wyld Wood I went to get my lunch at an excellent establishment called Punjabi Dera. I  had myself a triple paratha kebab and meat samosa which was huge and cost well under a fiver. Just before 2.30 I finished up and went in the ground.

The game was very good and Wycombe were unlucky to only get a 1-1 draw. They dominated the game for the most part and led through Matt Bloomfield's goal on 40 minutes. They had several chances to extend their lead but didn't take any of them. Orient scored on the break through Jay Simpson and had their best period after this. Proceedings were temporarily halted as someone sat in the Orient home end invaded the pitch and for the remaining 10 minutes looked the side most likely to win. Wycombe fans were in fine voice, singing loud and proud all game whilst their Brisbane Road counterparts only piped up once they had scored.

As ever it had been an excellent day out with decent and friendly opposing fans and club. I got straight on the train at Leyton station and was back at Liverpool Street by 5.30. Getting back to Amersham from there was a bit of a faff with a few train changes and it wasn't until nearly 7.30 that I got back to Amersham, getting home just before 8. I was back at work so I had a couple of drinks before watching Match Of The Day and going to sleep.


I wasn't originally going to do a blog for this game, but when I checked on the day of the game, I thought it could do with a tidy up and a few bits adding. I'd decided to go to this game around a month ago when I saw that all of the Essex Alliance Cup Finals were being played at Leyton Orient and Dagenham. With the obsessive in me wanting to see a game on every day of the year, this was ideal for me as 30th May is the only day outside of June and Christmas Day that I've not been to a game on. Leyton Orient is one of the better away days in London and I was looking forward to the revisit. Sadly the takeaway that I really liked had gone, so I'd have to find somewhere new. I also shelved plans for a few pints after a heavy day on the booze on Saturday.
I didn't know whether I was going to go from Amersham or Wycombe Station. On the end, I chose Amersham, it worked out cheaper and I could park nearer the station. It was of course work on the day of the game and with it being half term, the place was full of irritating unsupervised brats. It meant the roads were quieter though, and I kept my head down and got on with the job. It was packed, but soon enough, it was home time. I drove to Amersham, parking up a few minutes away from the station. For once, luck was on my side and I only had a couple of minutes to wait for my Chiltern train to Harrow On The Hill. It was then a change at Liverpool Street, everything running smoothly and taking around an hour and twenty minutes. I'd killed time on the train researching Leyton Orient but there was still plenty to do. I headed to Poundland for a drink of Irn Bru before going to see the Laurie Cunningham statue in the park. I was ready for dinner now and it was nice to get inside as it had started to get rainy and chilly. I selected a Piri Piri place called Five Lads for my meal, a play on the famous Five Guys chain. The boneless half chicken meal seemed decent value for £7.99. They were doing a lot of business and it was easy to see why as my meal was excellent, maybe the best of the season. From there it was a few minutes to the ground. It was nice to go up through the executive entrance and see the corporate things. Entry, programme and T-shirt were a bargain £5. The seat had a great view right on halfway was padded too.
League champions DTFC were playing their last game under their current name. They'll be known as Canons Wood from next season and will play at step 6 of the Non-league pyramid. They got to the final by beating Kit Out London 5-1, winning 1-0 at Tower United before a 3-1 win in the semi-final at Woodford East. Lymore Gardens had beaten Blue Marlin 3-2 and Chigwell Town 4-0 before a 4-1 at FC Petrocub in the semis. DTFC came close with the first real chance on the break after a couple of minutes. They forced a good save out of the keeper and then hit the bar. They were not to be denied for long and on 7 minutes, they took the lead. It was a lovely low shot on the turn from Billy Golledge from the edge of the area and they looked the better side for the rest of the half. Golledge got his second on 35 minutes, heading in a right-wing cross. They started the second period well too, hitting the post from a free-kick. It looked to be game over on 63 minutes when Ashley Campbell headed home a corner but Lymore Gardens had started to get back into the game. Following a number of close calls, their raucous support got the goal they deserved on 78 minutes. Benjamin Sumaili poked home from close range to make 3-1. As Lymore piled the pressure on, a DT man was sent off for a foul. From the resulting free-kick, there was a further infringement in the box. Though the spot-kick was initially saved, Andre Rashford who had looked handy all night followed up in the eighth minute of injury time. There was only time to kick off before the final whistle of a decent game. It had been feisty at times and before the trophy was presented, the DT team went into the crowd and there was a bit of handbags. They were the better team and should do well under their new identity next season but who knows what might have been had Lymore Gardens got into the game earlier. 

Overall, it had been a great end to the season. Leyton Orient have had some bonkers things happen in their history and it was good to update my blog. It is also one of the better away days in London. It was just a shame that all of the grounds in the Alliance are very basic but I can see me going to some finals again next season. The whole thing was great value and well organised, although there were a lot of people not used to going to games that were up and down all game. I remedied that by moving to a quiet part of the stand in the second half, the attendance was very good, around 600 I reckon. Certainly, good value helped. There have been some scandalous prices about lately - £44 for the cheapest ticket in a terrible stadium for the national league final. Also season tickets at Barnet and Kings Lynn cost more than Wycombe, even after ours were substantially hiked last year. The trains were not as regular on the way home but I still made good time. It was a single change at Liverpool Street, less than ten minutes wait but a slower Metropolitan Line train all the way back to Amersham. I was back by 11.25 and back home within 20 minutes after walking back to my car. I stayed up until the early hours as I was not tired but was glad to update my blog.


BRISBANE ROAD is a smart modern ground that still retains some of the character and charm of before it was rebuilt for modern football. It is now all seated and has flats in each corner of the ground so that the residents can watch the game for free. Being an older ground that has been rebuilt, there are a lot of takeaways and pubs around the ground. The pubs are the usual fare, but there is an excellent takeaway called the Dera Punjab Grill which does all sorts of kebabs, curries and Indian food at great prices. There is also an excellent supporters club which costs £1 to enter, but buy a couple of pints and you will have made that money back on the cheap pints. They do a number of real ales, plus ciders from Westons.

Overall it's a cracking day out with decent friendly supporters and plenty of choices to eat, drink and be merry.

WEST STAND (under construction in 2004)

NORTH STAND (Under construction in 2004)


EAST STAND (Away fans get South side)



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