Drawing on good spirit

Leyton Orient’s stadium announcer Phillip Othen discusses the O’s recent form

Orient hospital visit

Orient players – and mascot Theo The Wyvern – visiting Whipps Cross Hospital at Christmas

What is better than losing? Drawing, of course! Yep, a good, old-fashioned draw (anyone that thought the answer was winning has clearly never supported a lower-league football team).

Orient specialise in finishing level with whichever club they play. As of writing, they have amassed ten points in this fashion.

In fact, only the once-mighty Portsmouth have drawn more matches so far this season than the Londoners. And in the last month, Plymouth, Wimbledon, Mansfield, Yeovil and now Stevenage have all shared the spoils with Orient.

That said, the O’s did buck the trend by spectacularly losing at Scunthorpe in an FA Cup replay (following, yes, you guessed it, a draw in the original tie) meaning they lost the chance to meet Chelsea in the third round – and almost certain victory against the struggling Premier League outfit.

So, all in all, a pretty poor month of football. But, as we know, there are more important matters in life, and in early December a group of Orient players visited the local Whipps Cross Hospital, taking gifts for the poorly children and spending time with them and their families.

Jack Payne, Connor Essam and Freddy Moncur each spent time with children aged from four weeks to 16 years old. Gifts included scarves, signed posters and football shirts. The players also took time to have photos taken and sign autographs.

As midfielder Jack Payne said: “You come here and it really does open your eyes to realise how lucky we are. We might moan about losing a game, but when you make a visit like this it puts things into perspective.”

Little did Jack realise how prophetic his words would prove to be – two draws and a defeat soon followed, and Jack himself spent a night in pain (sorry) after being stretchered off against Yeovil.

Let’s hope 2016 brings fewer injuries, fewer draws, and a much-needed climb up the league table.