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Happy Birthday Hot Shot

17 October 2013

By Tony Leighton

Leyton Orient's veteran striker Kevin Lisbie is a happy birthday boy, 35 years young on October 17th and enjoying the hottest scoring streak of his long career.

Eighteen years after turning professional at Charlton Athletic and subsequently playing for Colchester United and Ipswich Town - plus six other clubs on loan - Lisbie is at the top of his game as Orient sit top of the Sky Bet League 1 table.

The Jamaica international has scored seven times in 11 League 1 outings and has hit a further two goals in two Capital One Cup ties.

Orient went out of the Cup to Premier League Hull City, but that remains the only defeat so far suffered by the Londoners in a tremendous start to the campaign.

Nine wins and two draws have seen them setting the League 1 pace, with Lisbie in sparkling form but insisting on spreading the plaudits around the team.

The striker told "I'm on the best scoring run of my career, but that's down to the players around me providing the chances.

"We're not a team of individuals, we're a really tight-knit group who get on well together off the pitch as well as on it and that's showing in our performances.

"We ended last season really well after a bad start, and we've picked up where we left off to give ourselves a great start this time. Now we've got to build on what we've achieved so far and keep ourselves at the top end of the table."

The O's did indeed start badly last term, losing their first three League 1 games and then suffering six defeats in seven matches during the autumn.

In the January transfer window Lisbie had the chance of a move to Sheffield United, who were pushing for promotion and ended the season in the Play-Offs.

But the striker, who when he had originally signed as a free agent for Orient in September 2011 did so on a short-term contract, chose to stay at Brisbane Road.

"Sheffield United offered me a one-year contract," said Lisbie, "and if I'd felt that Orient were not the club I wanted to be at I'd have walked to Sheffield.

"But I love it here. When I signed my first contract for the club it was after I'd telephoned the manager [Russell Slade] to ask if I could train with the team because the training ground was just round the corner from where I live.

"On the second day I trained the club had a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie and three strikers got injured in that game, so the manager asked me to sign a short-term deal - and from that point things have worked out really well for me.

"We finished one place below the Play-Offs last season and that was after a bad start, so if we can build on our excellent start to this season there's no reason why we can't put together a really strong promotion challenge."

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