A little under three weeks ago I wrote a piece for Beesotted entitled ‘Three Into Two Won’t Go’ that questioned which, if any, of the three leading teams in League One – Brentford, Wolves or Orient – would hit the proverbial buffers in their quest for automatic promotion this season.
At the time all three sides were going toe-to-toe in an unrelenting win-fest, but based on experience, it seemed unlikely that situation could continue without one team falling by the wayside, or another team emerging from the chasing pack.
After a magnificent, and record breaking, run of results, Brentford had reeled in the other two clubs and secured a slender lead at the top of the division, but there were few signs of cracks showing in either East London or the West Midlands as the transfer deadline dealings were wrapped up.
Since then, however, Orient have taken just one point from a maximum 12-point haul, a sequence that included three consecutive defeats, two of which coming on home turf, with the single point coming against a Preston North End side who are starting to eye up third place themselves.
Orient have blown a gasket, plain an simple, but with three consecutive home games ahead of them, the O’s have the ideal chance to drag themselves back towards the summit if the top two draw this Saturday. At least that’s what their fans are hoping.
Those games at Brisbane Road will, I wager, also possibly decide Brentford’s fate this season -assuming our unbeaten run continues. If Orient’s challenge is actually ‘done and dusted’ it would appear there are no other serious challengers. Admittedly Preston and Rotherham are very good sides and could go up in the play-offs – but neither look likely to emerge as champions, or indeed runners’ up this season.
Wolves and the Bees are still looking strong – draws at Walsall and Shrewsbury did not dent our title aspirations – and the reds dominated from start to finish at Crewe… Which tees up a classic six-pointer against Wanderers this weekend.
But nothing, absolutely nothing, should be taken for granted… Orient will be looking at the points discrepancy that has appeared between themselves and the top two and hope their home form returns – if so – they are back in the hunt…
Stevenage are first up tonight, a fixture that looks to be a home banker. Three points to Orient’s talley this evening and it all hots up again… Fans of the leading sides beware… Mind The Gap folks, Please Mind The Gap.