Ten goals, five red cards and a ref spinning on his arse: Why Leyton Orient 8-2 Droylsden was the weirdest match ever

MirrorFootball's James McMahon was at Brisbane Road last night to see Leyton Orient's monumental 8-2 comeback win against non-league Droylsden. Read his breathless take on events here and then let us know the weirdest game - at any level - you've ever seen by commenting below

I’ve seen some strange things in my time going to football, most of them sat on David James’ head, or just in the England goal for that matter, but I’ve never seen a game quite as extraordinary as Leyton Orient v Drolysden in the FA Cup Second Round Replay last night.

Much is made of the magic of the cup, and there were certainly moments of that, in both teams' favour – somewhere at ESPN there’s currently a meeting being held about why this match wasn’t televised - but ultimately this was a tie that was less about wizardry and more about farce. It was still immensely thrilling though.

The game ended 8-2, after extra time, in Orient’s favour, with only 18 men on the field come the end. Come to think of it, once Droylsden manager Dave Pace had been sent to the stands, shortly after the restart, there was only one manager on the touchline too. By the time it was finished, Leyton Orient were trending on twitter for the first, and perhaps last, time in their grand history.

Yet what was stranger still was that until the 77th minute, Leyton Orient were seemingly dead and buried.

In a wretched first half from the League One Londoners, it only took the amateurs six minutes before Ciaran Kilheeney put the ball past on-loan Blackburn keeper Jason Brown. Aside from a strange habit of constantly floating the ball to an imaginary winger on the right side seemingly only they could see, Droylsden continued to impress, playing a non-league twist on total football.

The Blue Square North seemingly wanted the result more than the team former up the pyramid, and, when Orient defender Terrell Forbes saw red eight minutes before the break for a foul on Jody Banim, it looked like becoming a night O’s fans would wince about for years to come.

It was hard not to feel for Orient though, the amateurs singling out and clattering standout player, on-loan Spurs winger Paul-Jose M’Poku, every time he got the ball. Nevertheless, Banim popped up again to set up Alex Brown to finish from close range after 54 minutes. Droylsden had only brought 30 fans, but they were all united in conga across the breadth of Brisbane Road’s draughty east stand.

Yet Droylsden made the error of bringing down M’Poku again, this time inside their penalty box, and Orient warhorse Ben Chorley stepped up with 13 minutes to go to slot the penalty home. Then another foul on M’Poku, a terrible one if truth be told, which saw Nathaniel Kerr being rightly ordered from the field.

Orient substitute Jonathan Tahoue popped up with a minute to go to send the game into extra time. Even Chorley being dismissed for a second yellow moments after Droylsden kicked off couldn’t dim the home fans' glee, despite a worrying few moments where Orient didn’t have one centre-half on the field.

Home fans psyched themselves up for what they expected to be a tense period of extra-time; Droysden’s were still doing the conga. But three minutes after the restart M’Poku did what he’d been threatening to all game, dinking the ball past keeper Paul Phillips.

As much out of frustration as spite, Droylsden defender Lee Roche saw red moments later, manager Pace disputed and was sent to the stands, and what then played out was less the anxious thirty-minutes Orient fans had predicted, more continental style open training session, as the London team began to pick apart their broken opponents. Veteran striker Scott McGleish bagged a hat-trick, Tehoue scored two more to complete his treble.

It was like watching a cat toy with a mouse. A slightly inept, lame cat, agreed, but the metaphor still stands. Orient fans chanted “we want ten”. Droylsden’s were still doing a conga. It couldn’t have been a more bizarre game if the referee had fallen over and spun about wildly on his bottom. Oh, yeah, he did that too. Extraordinary scenes.

Droylsden deserve credit for keeping their heads up and for their opening play, Orient for retaining some professional grit, while both sets of fans were funny, impassioned and supportive throughout. Until I see a game that ends with a player exploding, I can’t possibly see how I could see a game that was stranger than this.

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