My Grounds

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Leyton Orient - Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient FC
Brisbane Road
E10 5NF

0871 310 1881

Groundhop: 4
Date: 13th April 2010
Leyton Orient 2-1 Norwich City
League 1

Leyton Orient FC - History

Leyton Orient were founded in 1881 under the name Eagle Cricket Club, changing to Orient Football Club in 1888. This was followed by another name change to Clapton Orient in 1898 (representing the area the club were based at the time), before changing to their current name for the first time after World War 2 (they changed back to Orient in 1966, before reverting back to Leyton Orient in 1987). 

Leyton Orient's golden years were during the 1960s and 1970s, with the club earning promotion to the top tier of English football for the first - and only - time in the 1961/62 season, although they were immediately relegated the following season. They then remained in the Second Division for most of the late 60s and 70s. The club also experienced its best ever FA Cup run in this period, reaching the semi-finals in 1978 before losing to Arsenal.

In more recent times, Leyton Orient have been a fairly constant presence in League 1 or League 2, although in 2012/13 they almost earned promotion to the Championship after reaching the play-off final; however, they lost on penalties to Rotherham United. This was then followed by the disastrous ownership of the club by Francesco Bechetti: in his first season as owner, Leyton Orient were relegated to League 2, having had three managers by Christmas and struggling all season. 

Leyton Orient almost reached the League 2 play-offs in 2015/16, but this was followed by a terrible 2016/17 season, with five different managers leading the club amidst turmoil off the pitch: fans spent much of the season protesting against Bechetti's ownership, not least because he looked to be taking the club into oblivion. Unsurprisingly, the club were relegated to the National League, ending their 112-year stay in the Football League. 

Before the 2017/18 season began, British-born businessman and Leyton Orient fan took over as the club's new owner, saving Leyton Orient from folding. However, they are currently having a difficult time in the National League, sitting three points above the relegation zone after 18 games.

My Visit

Looking back, I can't exactly remember why it was that we ended up going to this of all away games during Norwich's successful League 1 campaign. However, the fact is that we did go and see one of the five away defeats Norwich suffered in that season. That being said, I don't remember much more than that about this game, which is unsurprising as it was seven years ago now. In any case, I was able to find a match report from my visit, in which I was part of an attendance of 7,520:

Two goals from midfielder Sean Thornton ensured Leyton Orient eased their relegation fears with a shock 2-1 win over leaders Norwich.
Thornton struck twice in the first half, either side of Korey Smith's leveller, as Orient claimed only their second victory in 14 games to pull four points clear of the drop zone.
Orient went ahead three minutes into an absorbing first half when Thornton, back from a two game suspension, latched onto a Scott McGleish header and punished some uncertain City defending.

Norwich equalised after 20 minutes when Smith rounded off a neat passing move with a drive from just inside the area.
But Thornton restored Orient's lead on the half hour with a far-post header from Charlie Daniels' free-kick.
Daniels almost added a third for Orient following a fine run from the halfway line, while at the other end Jamie Jones pushed away a fierce drive from Canaries substitute Stephen Hughes.
Hughes hit the bar in stoppage time, but Orient held on to record their first victory under new manager Russell Slade.

The Ground

From what I remember of Brisbane Road, it is a ground which has plenty of character but at the same time is really showing its age in a few negative ways: for instance, sitting on  wooden benches - rather than seats - is one of the few distinct memories I have of the ground.

In any case, the ground is an all-seater with an overall capacity of 9,271. The ground is also home to Tottenham Hotspur's reserves, and has also hosted England U16s and England Women's internationals. Furthermore, the ground was originally home to the now-defunct Leyton FC before 1937, when Leyton Orient moved in.

The record attendance at Brisbane Road was 34,345 for an FA Cup tie against West Ham United in 1964.


As before, I'll get to this at some point if Norwich ever play there again, or if there's a particularly tempting match there (while the club are in non-league, that is).

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