ANGRY O’S FANS MAKE THEIR POINT
LEYTON Orient manager Omer Riza joked nothing surprised him at Brisbane Road any more, after their match with Colchester was eventually finished just before 7pm following a pitch invasion.
O’s fans invaded the playing surface with five minutes remaining in east London and the U’s 3-1 ahead.
After an hour of protesting, an announcement confirmed the match had been ‘abandoned’. But at 6.40pm, the final five minutes were played with no spectators present at Brisbane Road.
“Anything can happen at Leyton Orient at the moment, so we have got it sorted and we move on to next week now,” said Riza.
“I think it was right that the match was finished and not abandoned, and those were the rules we had to abide by.
“If we didn’t finish it now, then we would have all had to come back later in the week to play the final eight minutes.
“It wouldn’t have been good for us or Colchester, so it was the right thing to clear the pitch and wait for however long we had to in order to get it finished.”
The match was halted in the 85th minute when an Orient fan threw a flare onto the pitch and it was then followed by a pitch protest.
Around 750 supporters invaded the E10 field and called for chairman Francesco Becchetti to leave.
The game was ‘abandoned’ at 5.47pm, but nearly an hour later the fixture was restarted and the final few minutes played.
Colchester boss John McGreal said: “The referee and the officials got the players off quickly and there was nothing untoward towards the players.
“We had a chat with their manager and the referee and we had to try and wait for things to calm down.
“We both wanted the game to finish. It was either finish it tonight or to come back during the week to play around five minutes.
“We got our heads together with the EFL and I think we came to a really sensible decision to clear the stadium, play it behind closed-doors and play the five minutes plus added time that was left.”
Colchester took the lead after 26 minutes when Tariq Fosu headed home Tom Eastman’s cross from the right.
Orient equalised in breathtaking fashion seven minutes into the second-half when Sandro Semedo fired in from 30 yards.
But Colchester went back ahead, as Jens Janse’s poor back pass was latched upon by Fosu and he teed up Chris Porter for a tap-in.
U’s substitute Macauley Bonne then fired into the corner to make it 3-1 before a bizarre conclusion to a dramatic day.
U’S BEAUTY: Tariq Fosu PROTEST: Furious Leyton Orient fans invade the pitch