“The Most Important Game”

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff urges his side to maintain their consistency ahead of their trip to Braintree on Tuesday. The O’s head to Essex top of the table after a 3-0 win at Harrogate on Saturday and McAnuff knows that Braintree will be a different test. Speaking to leytonorient.com these are the games we need to make sure we stay really focused and switched on and approach the game in the right manner”.

  • Sit 1st on 26 points
  • League Record – P12  W7  D5  F22  A8
  • Won five of the last six and seven of the last nine games

Orient’s win at Harrogate extended their unbeaten run to 12 games and equalled their longest unbeaten run at the start of a season. Macauley Bonne opened the scoring before a brace from Jobi McAnuff saw them return to London with all three points. Head Coach Justin Edinburgh stated to leytonorient.com I thought from start to finish we were controlled, it was a tough encounter, we knew it would be but credit to the players they did all the things we asked and shown them carried it out to perfection”.

Orient last 5 results

Orient’s last Six Results

The O’s grabbed the initiative in the first half going 2-0 ahead and were tested by Harrogate but stood strong. With the win, Orient are the now the only remaining unbeaten side in the National League and Edinburgh praised the whole group. Speaking to leytonorient.comthey are prepared to work extremely hard for one another in both boxes. Charlie Lee and Craig Clay went toe to toe in midfield with two real competitors. No-one gave an inch, we had to go right till the end, they did ask questions but we had the answers today. In terms of a whole round performance, it was near enough perfect”.

  • Kept five league clean sheets – Two away
  • Four clean sheets in their last six
  • Two clean sheets in their last three away games
  • Conceded just eight league goals – only Fylde (7) have conceded less

Orient have made great progress under Edinburgh since his arrival last December with McAnuff highlighting they are now capable of dealing with different tactics. Speaking to leytonorient.comI thought we were really dominant today, they probably thought with the big man up front they could throw long balls into the box but I felt that’s where we were strong. We look very strong whatever way teams want to play against us, we can deal with it now. We have a lot of strings to our bow, we just need to keep it going”.

  • After 12 games last season – Orient had conceded 20 (only 8 this season)
  • Away League Record – P6  W3  D3  L0  F9  A4
  • Only lost one of their last 11 away games – W5  D5  L1
  • Away League Record under Edinburgh – W9  D6  L3  – conceded just 11 goals

Edinburgh’s men are a point clear at the top but it still remains tight at the top with just four points separating the top seven. Despite the victory, Edinburgh was quick to look ahead to Braintree knowing that this is no foregone conclusion. Speaking to leytonorient.com they won’t be complacency, we are fully aware in this league anyone can beat anyone. You can’t expect to win but we want to win every game. We need to go there and approach in exactly the same way. If we don’t we will become unstuck”.

  • Only team in National League to score in every league game
  • Scored in last 13 league games and 14 of their last 15 games
  • Scored in nine of their last ten away matches

McAnuff’s goals on Saturday meant he has now scored in the last 18 seasons and is still enjoying his football. Despite Braintree sitting second bottom, the 36 year old will not be taking the Iron lightly. Speaking to leytonorient.com Tuesday will pose different problems for us, whatever has happened in the 12 games so far we have adapted to every circumstances we have come up against. We won’t be taking them lightly, it’s the most important one, we are fully focused on getting another result”

Orient next 5 games

Orient’s next Six Fixtures

Team News

Saturday’s fixture at Harrogate saw Edinburgh name the same starting 11 for the eighth consecutive game and he could name it again tomorrow. Dale Gorman, Matt Harrold and James Alabi will be pushing for starts but are likely to start on the bench. Sam Ling and James Brophy are nearing full fitness but still a little away.

Last Time Out – 3-0 win at Harrogate

O's vs Boreham WOod

Starting 11 vs Harrogate

Prediction – Braintree 0-2 Leyton Orient

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Orient Express is Full Speed Ahead

Leyton Orient moved to the summit of the National League with an impressive 3-0 win at Harrogate Town. The O’s extended their unbeaten run to 12 games as Macauley Bonne and captain Jobi McAnuff gave them a 2-0 half time lead. Harrogate rallied in the second half but McAnuff clinched his second and Orient’s third to move them two points clear at the top.

For the seventh consecutive game O’s head coach Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged side. Midfielder Charlie Lee overcame an ankle injury to start in midfield alongside Craig Clay.

O's vs Boreham WOod

Orient’s Starting 11

Harrogate who came into the game on the back of four straight wins made two changes from the side that won 2-0 at Maidstone last weekend. Captain Josh Falkingham returned from injury while Mark Beck started alongside Dominic Knowles in attack. Liam Agnew dropped the bench while Joe Leesley was left out.

lineup

Harrogate’s Starting 11

In a feisty start, neither team were allowed time on the ball in midfield as they looked to assert themselves in the contest. Harrogate winger George Thomson saw an effort blocked before curling an effort wide of the Orient goal. The O’s were struggling to hold the ball up in attack but did have their first effort when Jobi McAnuff curled a free kick over the bar.

Town were a threat from set pieces with Callum Howe and Kelvin Langmead obvious targets and it was Howe who saw a header go wide of the far post. However, immediately afterwards Orient broke the deadlock. James Dayton knocked the ball round the corner and was taken out with referee Marc Edwards playing a great advantage the ball fell to Charlie Lee. The former Stevenage man found Macauley Bonne in the left channel and Orient’s top scorer made no mistake curling home.

Harrogate were resorting to long balls up to Beck but the front man was losing more than he was winning. The opening goal gave the O’s some momentum and Josh Koroma should have done better when he fired wide of the goal. But they didn’t have to wait long for the second as Dayton fed Koroma in down the right. Koroma’s cross was spilt by James Belshaw, McAnuff was on hand to slot home to double their advantage.

The second goal awoke Harrogate who started to play football and cause Orient a few problems. Thomson curled an effort wide of the post as he cut in from the right before Harrogate nearly halved the deficit. From another teasing corner, Liam Kitching’s header was destined for the corner only for Bonne to clear away.

The O’s needed the half time whistle as Harrogate were coming on strong and goalkeeper Dean Brill was tested with a Kelvin Langmead header but he turned it around the post for a corner.

Orient knew Harrogate would come out fighting in the second half but it was McAnuff who saw the first effort of the half go wide of the post. Town were a continual threat with crosses into the box and saw Brill make another key save when Langmead stabbed an effort on goal.

With Harrogate pushing men forward in search of a route back into the game, Orient were a danger on the break exploiting the empty spaces. Craig Clay broke forward and fed in Koroma but the youngster saw his effort saved by Belmar.

It was a test of Orient’s character as Harrogate continued to pump balls in the box and they were created some half chances. Marvin Ekpiteta recovered excellently when Jack Muldoon was in on goal as his tackle was time perfectly.

The O’s wrapped up victory on 68 minutes, Bonne played in Koroma inside the penalty area, he turned to find McAnuff on the edge of the box and the winger curled home to make it 3-0.

Orient could have added a fourth but Koroma could only drag his effort wide of the mark as he was set free down the right. A clean sheet was the last objective for Orient who had to be thankful to Brill who tipped a Warren Burrell header past the post after the full back was free at the back post.

McAnuff nearly capped a great Orient day by completing his hat trick but after making space inside the box, the 36 year old could only curl his effort wide of the post. Koroma made way for James Alabi as the game hit the last 15 minutes.

Alabi looked continue the way he finished last weekend’s game against Barnet and nearly grabbed his second for the club. After a mistake at the back by Harrogate, the former Tranmere man broke free but Belshaw in the Harrogate goal saved well with his feet.

Edinburgh introduced Dale Gorman and Matt Harrold as the game hit stoppage time. Orient held on for a deserved 3-0 victory, against a side who failed to score for the first time in 29 home league games (17th April, 0-3 loss to Halifax).

What a day, what a performance, that’s what supporting Leyton Orient is all about. Away to the league leaders a team that scores for fun, keep a clean sheet and move top of the table. What’s better than that?

Another test passed, another physical side that Orient have overcome. Last season they would have crumbled, this season is different and under Edinburgh and co they have the right men at the helm.

Orient scored when the chances were presented to them, Bonne with a lovely finish to set them on their way. Criticise referees but credit where it due, a fantastic advantage after a foul on Dayton.

McAnuff notched number two which gave Orient a cushion but the key moment was the clearance off the line from Bonne just before half time. 2-1 at half time is totally different game. Orient were resolute in defence and Brill had another top game, apart from the cross where he only collected fresh air and the ball sailed wide to his relief.

McAnuff sealed the victory with a third as the Harrogate fans in the unsegrgated appreciated my celebration right in their ears for a couple of minutes. A perfect away day, capped with a clean sheet, the most pleasing aspect, keeping the league’s top scorers at bay.

Braintree away up next, this won’t be easy, a team scraping for points at the bottom of the league. Orient will be favourites and rightfully so but will they be able to breakdown a team that’s going to sit back and invite pressure.

But sitting here top of the table on the train home, only thing to look at next is the next game. 34 games to go of a long season, with 12 down, the signs are there. But remember this is Orient, it’s never done the easy way…..

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“Let’s Not Settle on the Good Start”

Leyton Orient assistant coach Ross Embleton insists his side can’t just sit on their unbeaten run, they need to be keep improving all the time. Orient travel to table toppers Harrogate on Saturday with both sides unbeaten so far. Speaking to leytonorient.comthe group is in a good place to keep building, let’s not settle on the good start and we’re unbeaten. We need to continue to use weeks to become better at what we do”

  • Sit 3rd on 23 points
  • League Record – P11  W6  D5  F19  A8
  • Won six of their last eight

Orient extended their unbeaten run to 11 games after beating Barnet 3-1 last weekend. Josh Coulson put Justin Edinburgh’s men ahead before Wesley Fonguck levelled but goals from James Dayton and Macauley Bonne in the second half  saw the O’s pick up their fourth win in their last five. Goal scorer Coulson stated to leytonorient.comwe’re delighted, I think the boys did really well in the second half to come out and showed how fit and strong we are to get three points. 

Harrogate Next 6 Games

Orient’s last 6 Results

The O’s had to be patient against Barnet but came strong in the second half with Dale Gorman and James Alabi giving them a boost. Embleton credited their impact but also the attitude of the whole squad this season. Speaking to leytonorient.comWhatever motive has been from bench with the decision the gaffer makes the boys have come on and executed it. They drive each other on, the motivation has been right and Dale and James deserve huge credit for coming on and turning that game”.

  • Only team in National League to score in every game
  • Scored in last 12 league games and 13 of the last 14
  • 14/19 goals have been scored in the second half – including 11 of the last 13
  • 10 have come after the 75th minute – including 8 of the last 12

Defender Coulson has tasted promotion to the Football League with Cambridge back in 2014 and hinted that the start at Orient echoes that. Coulson has been an integral part of the defence and was pleased that his side were able to score late to pick up victory over Barnet. Speaking to guardianseries.co.ukthe character we’ve shown is brilliant and the boys are so together. It’s a great dressing room. We know we can score late goal and I think teams know that as well now but they can’t stop it”

  • Kept four league clean sheets – only one away
  • Only kept one in their last nine on their travels
  • Only conceded two or more goals in two league matches under Edinburgh

Orient have enjoyed success on their travels under Edinburgh but assistant coach Ross Embleton that it will be as tough as it gets tomorrow. The O’s have only lost three away league games since December and they will be hoping that record stands tomorrow. Embleton spoke to East London AdvertiserHarrogate have had a fantastic start to the season. We will respect what they are about, we know they have caused real threats, but we also have threats and our first thought will be go there and get a result”

  • Away League Record – P5  W2  D3  F6  A4
  • Only lost one of their last ten away – W4  D5  L1
  • Away Record under Edinburgh – W8  D6  L3 – conceded just 11 goals
  • Scored in eight of their last nine on the road

The O’s beat three of the four promoted sides away last season and Embleton is keen for Orient to win on Saturday. Harrogate gained promotion through the play offs and the 36 year old is aware that they could be here to stay, “they have a good season last year and come up from National League North, the more of a run the put together, the more you have to start to take notice”

Orient next 5 games

Orient’s next 6 fixtures

Team News

Dale Gorman and James Alabi will be pushing for starts after impressing from the bench against Barnet while Charlie Lee looks set to overcome a knock. James Brophy and Sam Ling are nearing full fitness but the game could be too soon. George Elokobi remains out.

Last Time Out – 3-1 vs Barnet

O's vs Boreham WOod

Prediction – Harrogate 2-2 Leyton Orient

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“It’s Going to be a Real Battle On Saturday”

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver is relishing the challenge at the top of the National League. Town host 3rd placed Leyton Orient on Saturday before 2nd placed Wrexham visit on Tuesday night. Weaver’s men have started where they left off last season and face the only other unbeaten side in the division in Orient. Speaking to BBC Radio York Weaver stated “they are really good fixtures to look forward to, we’re all excited by the challenge. The team are nicely poised at the minute”

  • Sit 1st on 25 points
  • League record – P11  W7  D4  F24  A10
  • Seven wins in their last eight games

Town maintained top spot with their fourth win on the spin last time out in a 2-0 win at Maidstone. Callum Howe nodded the away side in front before Jack Muldoon slotted home the second. Weaver described the victory to harrogateadvertiser as “probably our best away performance this season so far”.

Harrogate Last 6 Results

Harrogate’s last 6 Results

Harrogate gained promotion through the play offs last season and have continued their form into this season. Despite sitting in top spot, Weaver is keeping his side grounded, speaking to BBC Radio York I don’t think there is any pressure on us at all, we’re not expected to be up there. We know what we need to stay in the division and that has got to be our main aim for first year. We are enjoying the battle and challenges of the transition, once we hit that target we will relax and play more”

  • Kept five league clean sheets – two at home
  • Only Fylde (6) and Wrexham (7) have kept more this season
  • One clean sheet in their last three games
  • Five clean sheets in their last nine home matches

Harrogate only made a few additions in the summer with Weaver giving a chance to the players that secured the promotion. The 40 year old is massively proud of the players unity and attitude so far this season. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.co.ukthe lads have been a credit to themselves, attitude has been spot on and they have probably surprised themselves by the way they have come of the blocks”. He added “all the players in the squad are capable of achieving really good things. It’s a big step up, we are overjoyed with the commitment every game, we are not carrying any passengers and hopefully it will continue”.

Harrogate arrivals

Harrogate’s Summer Arrivals

Town have been goal crazy once more this season and are the league highest scorers. After netting 100 league goals last season, Weaver’s men are well on their way to completing the feet once more. A pleasing aspect for him is the different manner his side are scoring goals. Speaking to harrogatetownafc.co.ukthe are different types of goals, set play, good from lads who are all attacking good areas and making a difference in the box. Second goal Jack Muldoon with the finish”.

  • Only failed to score in one game this season
  • Scored in their last four games
  • Scored two or more goals in 9/11 league matches this term
  • Scored 66% of their goals in the second half (16/24) – most in league

It’s a massive week for Harrogate hosting the two biggest sides in the National League and Weaver knows it will be one hell of a battle against Orient tomorrow. Weaver used to watch O’s manager Justin Edinburgh as a kid and is fully aware of what the O’s are about. Speaking to BBC Radio Yorkhe’s got them well organised, they needed that after last season and we can see it’s going to be a real battle Saturday”.

  • Home League Record  – P5  W4  A1  F14  A5
  • Only Orient (14) have taken more points at home
  • Unbeaten in their last 10 home games (includes play offs) – W9 D1  F31 A7
  • One lost one of their last 23 home league games – W18  D4  L1

It will be the first meeting between the sides on Saturday with Weaver quick to highlight where the game could be won or lost. Speaking to BBC Radio YorkTwo outfits with pretty similar shapes. The Individual battle all over the pitch we will be trying to come out on top. They have good quality if you allow them time, we are hoping not to give them much time. Their unbeaten, we’re unbeaten. It’s one battle we are all going to relish.

Harrogate Next 6 Games

Harrogate’s Next 6 Fixtures

 

Team News

Josh Falkingham is back in contention after recovering from injury but Weaver could name the same squad for the third consecutive match. Defender Callum Howe will be hoping to add to his four goals this season and has netted in the last two games.

Last Time Out – 2-0 vs Maidstone

Harrogate vs Maidstone

Starting 11 vs Maidstone

Prediction – Harrogate 2-2 Leyton Orient

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“A Game I Relish and Look Forward”

Barnet manager John Still can’t wait for his side to visit the Breyer Group Stadium tomorrow. Still’s Barnet are one of the form sides in the division after five wins in a row and will be hoping to make it six tomorrow. Described as a “London Derby” by Still he stated to barnetfc.comIt’s a game I relish and look forward to very much. At the end of the day it’s about getting three points”

  • League Record – P10  W5  D2  L3  F9  A10
  • Away Record – P5  W3  D1  L1  F4  A3
  • Won their last three away games
  • Not won four consecutive away games since 2014

The Bees made it five consecutive wins for the first time since 2014 last weekend with a 1-0 home win over Maidenhead. Josh Walker’s first goal of the season sent Barnet up to ninth. Still’s side were battling a lengthy injury list along with illness and the 68 year old was very happy with the result. Speaking to barnetfc.com I’m absolutely delighted, probably when we take everything into account it is a good a win as we’ve had”.

Barnet last 6 games

Barnet’s Last Six Results

Still swapped Dagenham for Barnet in the summer, making it his third spell in charge of the Bees. After a tough start with no win in the first five games of the seasonthe Bees now sit outside the play offs on goal difference with the mood in the camp good. Speaking to barnetfc.comthe spirit is good, we have worked hard this week. Winning breeds confidence. The test is when is hasn’t gone right but the players have taken on board what we have look for. The performance and results have improved and make it a happy place”

  • Kept four league clean sheets (three away)
  • Have Kept back to back clean sheets for first time this season
  • Kept two clean sheets in last three away games
  • Only conceded one goal in last 334 minutes of football away from home

With ten games now played in the National League, the table is starting to take shape according to Still who is aware that no game is easy in the National League. Speaking to barnetfc.comI think by now the league tends to sort itself out, O’s have been on a good run, I think along with all the game we’ve played really, every single game has been tough. I don’t expect it to be any different tomorrow”.

  • Failed to score in three league games (two away)
  • Have scored in their last five games and last three away games
  • 5/9 goals scored have been in first half – including 3/4 away
  • Last four goals scored have all come in first half and resulted in wins

Still began his playing career at Orient back in 1967 as a youth player and continues to live in amongst Orient fans. After seasons of discontent at Orient, Still stated “Orient’s a good club, there has been some reconstruction over the past couple of years. They have a good manager in Justin Edinburgh and have brought back Lingy”. He added “as a football fans I am pleased they have picked up from the disappointment that they had there. But I’m fully aware that it will be a tough tough game, one we really look forward to”.

John Still's Promotions

Still’s Promotions From Fifth Tier

The Bees face three of the top seven in the next fortnight but the winning run has built a belief in the squad. Still who has achieved three promotions from the National League is hoping for number four to send Barnet back up at the first time of asking. Still stated to barnetfc.comI think the way we’re approaching games and the way we’re competing in games is now giving us a great chance. There’s lots of little things that please you, I was pleased with the work rate. I am really pleased with our application to our game at the moment”.

Barnet Next 6

Barnet’s Next Six Fixtures

Team News

Barnet are set to be without ten first team players through injury but some are nearing  return. John Still will hope to have a few players back after several missed last week’s win over Maidenhead with sickness. David Tutonda should be available after returning from suspension.

Last Time Out – 1-0 vs Maidenhead

Barnet vs Maidenhead

Starting 11 vs Maidenhead

Head to Head – Leyton Orient 9, Draw 8, Barnet 7

  • Barnet have won two of the last three meetings
  • Barnet have only won one of the last eight meetings at the Breyer Group Stadium – W1  D3  L4
  • Barnet have only scored in one of the last four meetings away
  • Only one of the last six meetings has seen both teams score
Barnet H2H

The Last eight meetings between sides

Prediction – Leyton Orient 3-1 Barnet

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“It’s a Really Good Place At the Moment”

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is hoping his side can keep the feel good factor when they host Barnet tomorrow. Orient sit third in the National League and are one of two unbeaten sides left in the division. Speaking to leytonorient.comthere is a really good mood at the moment. The players are focused, we are enjoying training and matches. Everyone connected with the football club is in a really good place at the moment”

  • League Record – P10  W5  D5  F16  A7
  • Two points off top

The O’s extended their unbeaten start to the season to ten games with a 1-1 draw at FC Halifax last weekend. James Alabi netted an injury time equaliser after Dayle Southwell opened the scoring from the spot. Despite rescuing a point, Orient were dominant for long periods with Edinburgh stating to leytonorient.comif we’d come away with nothing from the game it would have been a travesty. It feels like two points dropped but great character to go to the end and we got what we deserved”.

Orient last 5 results

Orient’s Last 6 Results

Striker James Alabi has had difficult start to his Orient career after dropping to the bench, he then got sent off at Gateshead in August. However the former Tranmere man was delighted to get off the mark to preserve his sides unbeaten start. Speaking to leytonorient.comit was a brilliant feeling. I had to make sure when I came on do well and keep my head down. Scoring was a relief and a lot of weight of my shoulders”.

  • Orient scored in every game this season
  • Scored in last 11 league games and 12 of their last 13 games
  • Scored 75% of their goals in the second half (12/16) – 8 of 10 at home
  • Scored 9 goals after the 75th minute – 5 of 10 at home
  • Seven of their last nine goals have been after the 75th minute

The O’s have named the same starting 11 for the last six games and with players close to returning from injury, Edinburgh will have a serious selection headache. Despite some players being disappointed on missing out, Edinburgh highlights that the whole squad is together. Speaking to leytonorient.comwe have extremely strong competition for every place. It’s difficult but even the players who are not playing are desperate for the team to do well. The group is so together, the ones our of team spur the others on”

  • Kept four league clean sheets (three at home)
  • Kept three in the last four and four in the last seven
  • Only conceded two goals in the last six games

After three consecutive Saturday’s away, the O’s return home looking for a fourth consecutive home win. Orient have performed well in the past games with Edinburgh hopeful of another triumph in front of their home fans. Speaking to leytonorient.comour last home performance was a really good one, we had to be patient right till the end and it was an efficient performance with some really good football played. We have had really good performances at home of late, we look to continue but we have to earn the right”

  • Home Record – P5  W3  D2  F10  A3
  • Won their last three home games without conceding a goal
  • Have only lost one of their last nine home games – W6  D2  L1
  • Have scored in 8 of their last 9 home games – scoring 18

Barnet head to the Breyer Group Stadium on the back of five consecutive victories and Edinburgh is aware that the next week his side will face two sides full of confidence. Speaking to leytonorient.comthe fixtures have been difficult, the times we are playing teams they are coming in form. Barnet took their time to get into gear under John Still”. However, the 48 year is confident in his own side, “it will be another difficult game, we look at ourselves, we are in very good form playing extremely well; our whole round game. We are playing well, but need to be mindful of our opponents in good form and we expect a really good game”

Orient next 5 games

Orient’s next Six Fixtures

Team News

Sam Ling could return to the squad after an ankle injury while Dale Gorman should be back from International Duty. James Brophy and George Elokobi are still out through injury but Lev Lumeka hopes to be named in the squad.

Last Time Out – 1-1 FC Halifax

O's vs Boreham WOod

Starting 11 vs FC Halifax

Head to Head – Leyton Orient 9, Draw  8, Barnet 7

  • Orient have not won in the last three meetings – D1  L2
  • Orient have only lost one of the last nine meetings at home – W4  D3  L1
  • Orient have kept a clean sheet in three of the last four meetings at the Breyer Group Stadium

Barnet H2H

Prediction – Leyton Orient 3-1 Barnet

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Alabi’s Strikes Late as O’s stay Unbeaten

Substitute James Alabi struck in stoppage time as Orient made it ten unbeaten at Halifax. The O’s were dominant throughout but wasted key chances to go ahead. Halifax rarely threatened but took the lead when Dayle Southwell slotted home from the spot. But for third away game this season, Orient snatched a point in stoppage time when James Alabi’s shot sneaked home.

Fresh from three wins on the bounce, Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged side for the sixth consecutive game. Midfielder Charlie Lee recovered from a dead leg to start in midfield alongside Craig Clay.

O's vs Boreham WOod

Orient’s Starting 11

On the back of two consecutive away draws, Halifax boss Jamie Fullarton named an unchanged side for the visit of Leyton Orient. Defender Nathan Clarke started against one of his former clubs.

Halifax vs Wrexham

Halifax’s Starting 11

It was Orient who were immediately on the front foot, with the majority of possession at the Shay. Josh Koroma was first to have a sighter but his effort was easily saved by Sam Johnstone in the Halifax goal. The O’s were not used to having so much of the ball with defender Marvin Ekpiteta next to go close. Following a James Dayton free kick, the ball fell to Ekpiteta but his left footed effort was tipped around the post.

Orient were well on top and dominating a Halifax side who were trying to absorb the pressure. Neat play in midfield saw Koroma see an effort spilt by Johnstone as they searched for the opener. Charlie Lee was dictating play in midfield but it was Myles Judd who created the next chance but his inswinging cross was headed over by Macauley Bonne.

The Shaymen were trying to hit Orient on the break when they had the chance but it was Orient who did just that on 37 minutes. Jobi McAnuff found James Dayton on the right hand side, the winger set Bonne up but the forward curled his effort over the bar; a glorious chance for the opener.

Both Orient’s full backs in Judd and Joe Widdowson were offering themselves forward and it was the latter who nearly set Koroma up. Lee played Widdowson in down the left but the defender’s cross was inches away from the foot of Koroma.

With scores level at the break and Orient dominant from the first whistle, it was a case of not enough quality in the final third. The half time break should have helped Halifax but it was the O’s who should have taken the lead on 53 minutes. After Bonne broke the offside trap, his first time cross found Koroma who could only direct the ball wide of the post. A clear cut chance, would Orient regret their missed chances?

If you were an Orient fan, the next minute had an inevitability about it. After so much of the play in the first half and a failure to take their chances, we knew what was coming.  Brill failed to come out for a ball which Judd cleared, as the ball was cleared high, Matty Koslyo nipped in front of Marvin Ekipiteta who brought the midfielder down. Dayle Southwell stepped up from the spot and cooly put Halifax ahead.

A sucker punch for Orient but a up lift for the Shaymen who gained some momentum going forward. The O’s were struggling to get up with Josh Coulson and Ekpiteta blocking well from crosses. Lee did go close for Orient after making space in midfield, his low shot trickled wide of the target.

Justin Edinburgh threw on Matt Harrold in place of Craig Clay and James Alabi for James Dayton in search for the equaliser. The O’s still kept playing but struggled to create with over hit crosses. However, with late goals a constant feature this season, the belief was there that a goal would come.

And it did, just entering added time, the ball fell to substitute James Alabi who’s shot crept past Sam Johnstone to send Orient fans, players and management wild in celebration. The least Orient deserved for that performance, but remember this is Orient and it’s not over till that final whistle.

As expected Halifax were awarded a free kick just outside the box, Koslyo stepped up and saw his curling effort tipped over by Dean Brill. However, they still could have won it when Nathan Clarke rose unmarked from the resulting corner but could only find the side netting.

A commanding, dominant display but come away with only a point. But it could have been worse had Alabi not netted an injury equaliser. A very revealing and interesting week for Edinburgh and his team. Today, Orient were very nearly punished for not taking their chances. Two guilt edge chances through Bonne and Koroma who should have put then game out of sight.

But like any game in football, don’t take chances it will cost you. Halifax were poor today and if not the worse team Orient have faced this season. No creativity going forward at all, but was that because were so much better? Criticise their play, their tactics of trying to absorb pressure and wait for a set piece or a bit of luck nearly paid off when Southwell tucked home from the spot.

But with this Orient side, you know that something will happen late in games. For the fifth consecutive game, they struck after the 75th minute to grab a point and maintain their unbeaten run.

  • Did you know nine of Orient’s 16 league goals have come after the 75th minute

Charlie Lee played well dictating in midfield, Myles Judd continues to improve down the right and Joe Widdowson is like Ronseil – Does it exactly what it says on the tin. A consistent performer who was yet again impressive both attacking and defending. An unsung hero who people continue to criticise despite him being one of, if not the most consistent Orient players. A six or seven out of ten every week.

Forehead Coulson commanding at the back and led the defence well but it was in attack were Orient lacked. The chances missed were poor but Alabi gained some redemption for his red card at Gateshead with the last ditch equaliser.

Ten unbeaten as we host Barnet next week at the Breyer Group Stadium, a chance to go 11 unbeaten in the league. All I know is, these away trips are bloody brilliant especially with these late goals. Their is a sense of togetherenss from the players and management and the fans. Just check out the scenes on the touchline and in the away end.

It’s never dull being an Orient fan but you wouldn’t want it any other way. Onwards to Barnet at home next weekend.

 

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