Leyton Orient vs. Colchester Restarted After Protest Caused Apparent Abandonment

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of the ground ahead of the start of the Sky Bet League Two match between Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge at Brisbane Road on April 16, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Leyton Orient's League Two match against Colchester on Saturday was abandoned and then restarted after fans of the beleaguered home side took to the pitch. 

ESPN FC's Iain Macintosh shared footage of the protest and applauded the fans for doing so:

He later also confirmed the match had been abandoned. But once the fans of both sides had left, the pitch was quickly prepared to play out the final five minutes.

Journalist David Worsfold couldn't believe it:

The EFL explained the decision to trick the fans in a statement:

Macintosh described the scenes during the protest, with Colchester fans applauding the hosts for taking a stand:

The demonstration started after Colchester scored twice in the span of minutes to take a 3-1 lead. Orient had battled back from a 1-0 deficit in their final home match of the season, and the immediate setback was too much for the fans to handle.

The historic club has endured a miserable season in League Two, culminating in relegation to the National League after over 100 years in the Football League.

Chairman Francesco Becchetti is as unpopular as manager Omer Riza, and both were the target of chants during Saturday's protest.

Per Macintosh, the fans had little to lose:

With Colchester still hunting for a spot in the play-offs, the decision to play out the final minutes is an understandable one. It will not sit well with the fans of either side, however.

Last-placed Orient are scheduled to finish the season at Blackpool on Saturday, May 6. Like the O's, the Tangerines are a historic club that have fallen on hard times of late, although Blackpool could yet qualify for the play-offs.