“It Gives Us A Foundation”

Leyton Orient defender Josh Coulson hopes his side can build on their first point of the season as they host Ebbsfleet tomorrow.  The O’s battled back to earn a draw at Salford on Saturday, Rory Gaffney slotted home  in the second half but Orient forced an equaliser with four minutes to go. Coulson stated to NLFullTime podcastit gives us a foundation, we will do all the things we need to do to prepare and hopefully get some more points on the board”.

  • Orient have won three of their last five opening games at home

Head coach Justin Edinburgh was delighted with the response his side showed after going a goal down and praised his sides battling qualities to earn a point at promotion favourites Salford. Speaking to leytonorient.comwe had to dig deep, we had lots of opportunities but I thought we showed great strength, resilience and character to come away with a well earned point”.

  • Won three of their last four home games – W3 L1
  • Lost two of their last seven – W3  D2  L2
  • Scored in six of their last eight home games

Orient wasted chances in the second half to draw level before Craig Clay’s shot deflected in off Liam Hogan for the equaliser. Edinburgh revealed he thought it might not be there day after chances came and went, “we probably thought at times it was drifting away from us but that is testament of the players, they never gave in and got themselves back in the game and a point where if we hadn’t got one we would have been bitterly disappointed. The performances was very good today”.

Midfielder Clay helped force the equaliser as Orient ended the game strongly. He revealed to leytonorient.com that his side are benefitting from their pre season work “We know as a team with the work we have done pre season that in the last 15 to 20 minutes, I would like to think that we would fitter than 95% of teams. We know we can go until the last”.

  • 27% of Orient’s league goals under Edinburgh have been in the 70th minute or after (9/33)

Before Saturday’s clash with Salford, Edinburgh described the tough decisions he had to make on his starting 11. All three substitutes helped Orient grabbed a deserved point in Salford with the former Newport man describing the decisions “as possibly the toughest of his managerial career”. Speaking to leytonorient.com post match “the last couple of days has been tough, every player throughout pre season has been first class but what we asked was when the game changers we called up to have impact and they all certainly did”.

With two home games this week, Edinburgh is looking for his side to pick up their first win of the season. With seven games in August, Edinburgh is aware that Ebbsfleet along with every other side in the league will prove a challenge, “our early games are tough but as we all know, being involved in this league like I have and everyone witnessed last year, every game is tough. It is relentless but the players will be prepared”.

Lofc August

Orient’s August Fixtures and Results

Coulson achieved promotion from the fifth tier back in 2014 with Cambridge and insists that his side will only look towards their next game. Speaking to NLFullTime Podcast we will take every game as it comes, I know it’s cliché, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. There are a lot of games in this month and it could shape who is where and what we can do”.

Team News

Midfielders Charlie Lee, James Dayton and James Brophy are all pushing for a starting place after impressing from the bench on Saturday. Josh Coulson will look to build on his man of the match display on Saturday tomorrow.

Edinburgh on the squad to leytonorientfc.comone or two have knocks but nothing that will stop anyone being available for Tuesday”.

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All Square in Salford

A long summer, the wait for the new season. Was all worth it with a late equaliser at the home of the bookies favourites, Salford City. Rory Gaffney swept the Ammnies ahead early in the second half and were in complete control but as the minutes ebbed away the O’s grew into the clash. A late corner was forced over the line to send Justin Edinburgh’s men back to London with an all important point.

In the first ever game in the National League, Graham Alexander named all of his high profile attacking talent. Rory Gaffney partnered Adam Rooney in attack while new recruit from Peterborough Danny Lloyd started on the right flank.

Salford against Orient

Salford’s Starting 11

Summer signing James Alabi made his competitive debut partnering last season’s top scorer Macauley Bonne in attack while Josh Koroma earned a start on the right flank.

Salford First Game

Orient’s Sta

In a cagey opening period, Salford were looking to start on the front foot with left back Ibou Touray forcing Dean Brill into an early stop after he evaded the attention of Koroma. The O’s were slow to second balls in the midfield and had to be thankful to Sam Ling who blocked Rooney’s shot after he linked up with Gaffney.

Set pieces at any level are key and Salford were trying all they could to net the opener from one. In Liam Hogan and Carl Pierganni, Salford have center back who love attacking the ball and it was Hogan who headed wide at the back post.

Justin Edinburgh’s men were finding it hard to create going forward but Koroma did sting the hand of Chris Neal with a shot from outside the area. Salford responded and this time it was Pierganni who saw his header tipped over by Brill.

Then, what most Orient fans thought was the first goal of the season, nice link up play down the right saw Sam Ling pull the ball back to Alex Lawless. The former Luton man’s effort cannoned off the post to safety.

Salford had attacking talent aplenty in their ranks and it was Danny Lloyd who was causing problems. Drifting into central areas and cutting on to his left foot was proving troublesome for Orient. Tom Walker could have put them ahead just after the half hour mark, Lloyd drifted from the right and fed Walker in down the right but his tame effort was easily smothered by Brill.

Salford were enjoying the majority of possession but had nothing to show for until two minutes after the restart. Lloyd the creator, Gaffney the finisher. The former Posh man, drifted to the left hand side and his cross was swept home by the awaiting Gaffney to put the home side ahead.

Despite falling behind, Orient should have levelled just three minutes later. An Alex Lawless cross was headed back across goal by captain Jobi Mcanuff but Koroma somehow blazed the ball over the bar.

Graham Alexander’s men were growing into the contest and were linking up well in attack. James Brophy replaced Alex Lawless for Orient as McAnuff moved inside alongside Craig Clay. However, the change nearly had the opposite effect when Brill saved excellently from a Gaffney effort.

The O’s were making chance this time Macauley Bonne, who turned an effort over six yards out from a McAnuff cross. The game was becoming stretched as Orient searched for that elusive equaliser. Bonne latched on to an under-hit back past but his goalbound effort was smashed to safety.

Salford Away changes

With ten minutes to go, Edinburgh introduced Charlie Lee and James Dayton for Josh Koroma and Sam Ling. The substitutions galvanised Orient who couldn’t believe they didn’t equalise when Lee’s header hit the post. The awaiting Orient fans behind the goal were baffled to how Salford cleared the goal line scramble.

But, the goal that the Orient fans craved, a McAnuff corner was headed back across goal and after a scramble Clay’s effort inadvertently squirmed over the line to send 667 O’s fans barmy behind the goal.

Salford’s legs had gone, leaving Orient to search for a winner but Dayton could only fire over from a James Brophy cross.

A point is a point, no matter how it comes. The O’s didn’t play well, but when the score is only 1-0 you run the risk of letting a side back in to it. Salford will know this only to well after they will be ruing how they didn’t see the game out.

The Amnies will be in amongst at the end of the season, Lloyd looks an assured signing and Gaffney’s display highlighted the need for a physical presence in attack. But did Orient get out of jail with a point?

Some may say yes, others no, but I know who will be the happier manager right now… Battling back to gain a point at the team that every TV channel loves with a passion.

Onwards and upwards to Ebblsfleet at home Tuesday, if we want to challenge in the top end of the league, our home record will be key. The boys showed be buoyed by the point on Tuesday as Daryl McMahon team visit the Breyer Group Stadium.

Just how great is it to have the season back, I have missed the despair and ecstasy rolled into one. That equaliser was bloody worth it though…

 

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“It Will be a Good Marker to See Where We Are”

Salford City manager Graham Alexander can’t wait for his side to open their National League campaign when Leyton Orient visit tomorrow. Salford were promoted as champions of National League North last season and the 46 year old thinks tomorrow’s game will show how far they have come. Speaking to salfordcityfc.co.uk it will be a good marker to see where we are and where we need to improve”

Salford rounded up their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 victory at Altrincham last week with Alexander quick to highlight to Salfordcityfc.co.uk “the games are done and I have been really pleased with how the players have approached everything“. Despite the victory, Alexander stated “pre season is there for a purpose and prepare for the season and that’s what we have done. We have never took our eye of where we really need to kick in, which is next Saturday”.

Salford Pre Season results

Salford’s Pre Season Results

 

Alexander was appointed in May after joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernand Morley left by mutual consent. The former Fleetwood manager signed a four year deal at the Peninsula Stadium and is fully aware of the expectation that surrounds Salford City. Speaking to nationalleague.org.ukit is similar to what it’s been for the past three to four seasons, that’s success. We’re not going to hide or shy away from the fact but we have to earn it and you only earn it through hard work so we’ve put the building blocks in place”

Salford through years

 

 

In a summer of spending, Salford have brought in many names from higher leagues to help them on their push for another promotion. Midfielder Danny Whitehead swapped Moss Rose for the Peninsula Stadium in the summer after helping Macclesfield to the title last season. The 24 year old is fully aware of the challenge upon his side this season. Speaking to nationalleagueorg.co.uk, “make no mistake, it’s going to be hard. Every game is going to be really challenging, there won’t be any easy games. Every team plays in a different way so it’s about how we adapt to them and work on it in training”.

Salford New Signings

Salford’s Summer Signings

Alexander’s Salford are pre season favourites for the division but feels his side are amongst are whole host of clubs looking for promotion. Speaking to National League Full Time Podcast he stated “we are in with a group of 9,10 or 12 clubs in the National League that have got ambitions to be at the top end. There are lots of big clubs in the division with the purpose of getting into the Football League. This is our first ever season at this level and we want to hit the ground running”.

Orient finished in 13th last season but Alexander highlights the credentials that Justin Edinburgh’s men have. Speaking to salfordcityfc.co.ukI have no doubt that Leyton Orient will be up there, to compete at the top end. They are an extremely big club at this level with the experience in their ranks and their manager”.

  • Alexander is unbeaten as a manager facing Orient – P2 W1  D1 (Fleetwood 2014/2015 season)

With the BT Sport cameras in attendance and Salford’s first ever game in the National League opening up the league; a bumper crowd at the Peninsula Stadium is expected. Alexander has called on the fans of Salford to get behind his team ahead of the clash with Orient, “The buzz, excitement and tension is there, I know the supporters will come out in there numbers”. He added “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the crowd of Salford and the atmosphere they can create, we’ll need them on Saturday without a shadow of doubt”. 

  • Salford have only lost one competitive home match in 2018 (2-1 loss to Boston, 21/04/18)
  • Home Record in 2018 – P10  W7  D2  L1

Team News

Nathan Pond, Danny Whitehead and Danny Lloyd look set to make their debuts. Alexander will have to make a decision on the striking talent available to face Orient.

Alexander to salfordcityfc.co.ukwe have a few niggles as you always do at this stage. Your work the players hard, they work themselves hard. It is nothing major but a couple will be missing”.

Starting 11 vs Altrincham last weekend – Crocombe, Wiseman, Touray, Mafuta, Pond, Lawlor, Haughton, Shelton, Gaffney, Lloyd, Trialist (Hooper)

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“It’s About the Game Not the Occasion”

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is relishing a trip to Salford City and insists it is about what his side do. The 48 year old takes his O’s side North hoping to start the season with maximum points, speaking to leytonorient.comWe are fully aware, we have done as much work on them but I always believe it is about us, we have got a very good group of players. It will be a tough task but one we are looking forward to. It’s about the game not the occasion.

  • Orient failed to win any of their five televised matches last season – D1  L4

The O’s head to Salford on the back of a good pre season campaign, battling back twice in a 2-2 draw with Southend last Saturday. MacAuley Bonne and James Alabi both netted in the draw with Edinburgh pleased with the performance. Speaking to leytonorient.co.uk “everything apart from the finer details was there today, it was a really good performance. We have been pleased with pre-season and it has gone how we expected it to, the players have produced what we have asked of them and the fitness looks good”

Orient Pre season results

Orient’s Pre Season Results

Saturday’s trip, pits Orient against the bookies favourites for the title, Salford. It has been well documented about the financial backing Graham Alexander’s men have had this summer. However, midfielder Alex Lawless is not fazed by the occasion and insists his side know what their intentions will be come Saturday. Speaking to East London Advertiserit is a surprise the pressure will be on them more than us I would say from what you hear is going on. The first game is one everyone looks forward to and whether they are favourites or not, it is a game we will approach to win”.

  • Macauley Bonne top scorer last season – 22 league goals – 38% of team’s goals

The O’s ended last season in 13th place with Edinburgh guiding the East Londoners out of a potential relegation scrap. The former Newport man insisted on keeping momentum up to take in this season, speaking to nationalleague.org.uk I’ll be honest I didn’t want the season to end. I came here on the last day on November. I’d had my break. I was just getting back into the swing of things”.

Final table since Edinburgh

League Table from when Edinburgh took over last season

Orient have only brought in two summer recruits in: Dale Gorman (Stevenage) and James Alabi (Tranmere) to add to the squad. After recruiting well in January, Edinburgh revealed to nationalleague.org.uk “We didn’t have too much work to do in May and June. We knew we were keeping most players and just added a few.” He added “They showed real consistency last season and I enjoyed working with them for those five months. I felt big changes weren’t required and now they need to show me why we stuck with them”

A result in the North West would lay down a marker to their promotion rivals. Saturday’s game kicks offs the National League campaign with the BT Sport cameras in attendance and O’s defender Josh Coulson stated to East London Advertiser “it is a massive game between two very big clubs in this league and I am sure there will be a good atmosphere. We will go about our business and concentrate on ourselves” He added “hopefully we can get a result and we can play in front of a big crowd too and show what we’re about”

  • Orient have only lost one of their last five competitive away matches (1-0 vs Hartlepool, 
  • Only lost three of 12 away league matches under Edinburgh – W6  D3  L3

Team News

Striker Matt Harrold and midfielder Dale Gorman are nearing full fitness but will not be ready for Saturday. Winger Josh Koroma should overcome his injury to be fit but head coach Justin Edinburgh faces a tough decision on his starting 11.

Speaking to leytonorient.com on the potential 11 “It is a tough test for me to get right, every player will feel they deserve a place in the starting line up come Saturday. There are decisions to be made which will be made for the best of the team to get a result. There will be some disappointed boys Saturday but it’s not about Saturday, it’s about the duration of the season”

Starting 11 vs Southend Last Weekend – Brill, Ling, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson, Dayton, Lee, Lawless, McAnuff, Alabi, Bonne

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March – A Mixed Bag

March a key month for the O’s, safety not secured yet and the matter of a Tuesday night FA Trophy trip to Gateshead. Would Orient’s run in the trophy be extended or would they fall foul of their defensive problems again?

First up a trip to Dover Athletic, de ja vu, haven’t we been here before at the start of a month, and we all know what happened their. Unsurprisingly the game was far from the goal fest we were graced with in the trophy. With the beast of the east in full effect, it was more of a beach than a football pitch but credit to Dover for getting the game on.

In hindsight with a squad decimated with illness, it didn’t help the O’s as they fell victim to a 1-0 defeat. Orient looked comfortable throughout but their inability to finish off their chances cost them once more. Bonne and Holman both should have given the O’s the lead but Mitch Pinnock had the final say when his curling shot found the top corner and handed Dover the points.

Next the trip we all had been looking forward to Gateshead away on a Tuesday night in March. What dreams are made of, or more fitting nightmares. With only one fit central midfielder and only four subs on the bench, signs were not good. Indeed two minutes in, 1-0 down when Danny Johnson swept home after being unmarked in the box. The O’s looked shell shocked and were 2-0 down when Dan Happe decided it would be wise to take a touch rather than clearing the ball. Johnson nipped in and Happe just kicked him, penalty given, penalty scored 2-0 down, the trophy dream was falling apart.

Lamar Reynolds was causing problems down the left (more from him later) but Gateshead kept coming and Brill had to be on hand to keep the score down. Mooney saw a header saved in the dying minutes of the first half. A rocket was needed at half time, and the response came when James Brophy halved the deficit on 53 minutes. The O’s grew into the contest with Mooney heading the equaliser with 20 minutes to go.

Were Orient going to complete an unlikely comeback, no, the moment that still brings back nightmares even now. Lamar Reynolds what the hell were you doing, just watch the video, I have used far too many expletives on it already. Anyway his school boy defending allowed Barrow to cross, Peniket tapped home the winner. Trust me now, that was one depressing walk back to the hotel in Newcastle then another 3 hours spent with a magician, I bloody love them……..

After the poor performance in Gateshead, Ebbsfleet travelled to Brisbane Road, would  a response come. Well, James Brophy and Josh Koroma were causing havoc down the flanks with Bonne going close. But you’ve guessed it, Orient hit with the sucker punch, as an Ebbsfleet break saw Corey Whitely slot home to make it 1-0. Luke Coulson could have made it 2-0 but Orient responded when man of the moment Brophy smashed a cross shot which Kenny Clark could only direct into his own net. Brophy continued to cause problems but Orient still could be caught on the break, in the end the points were shared.

Torquay at home next, a Tuesday night under the lights at Brisbane Road. The scene was set…. for probably one of the worse performances under Justin Edinburgh. Torquay a side fighting for their lives down the bottom and Orient started strongly but struggled to create chances. Then what everybody could probably sense, a Torquay goal. Brett Williams turned Caprice inside out down the right so much it looked like it was an early audition for Strictly, his cross found Romain who headed home. Safe to say, 1-0 smash and grab, but being at home, it was up to Orient to set the tempo and score the equaliser but they couldn’t.

A trip south to Eastleigh next, with artic temperatures and a wind chill just like a blast freezer, the game was fantastic, end to end, full of chances. I wish I could say that, but it was a game missing any real quality and 90 minutes you wouldn’t get back in your life. McAnuff hit the bar with a free kick and that pretty much explains the chances in the game.

Back to Brisbane Road, Woking the visitors, a team in free fall, surely Orient would bounce back with a win in this one. After Harrold managed barely 360 seconds after yet another injury, Woking could have taken the lead when Jason Banton superb curling effort smashed with bar with Brill an onlooker in the Orient goal. The O’s responding and pressed high, Dan Holman nicked the ball sliding in MacAuley Bonne, he took two bites at the cherry but he made no mistake and made it 1-0.

Brophy was causing mayhem on the left and his mazy run earned a penalty for Orient, Bonne stepped up and finished once more. A comfortable win you may think was coming, actually Woking were obviously given a shot up the rear end at half time. It was all the visitors in the second half with Brill having to be on hand to keep the ball out. The game turned back to Orient after Woking were reduced to 10 men when Regan Charles-Cook was stretchered off due to injury and they made all their subs. Brophy capped a man of the match performance adding a third which made the score line harsher than it should have been.

Last up a Good Friday trip North to Guiseley, the team rock bottom, surely we would end the month with maximum points. In rather uneventful first half where the O’s fans were giving the Guiseley keeper plenty of stick behind the goal. It must of work as minutes into the second half, he took out Bonne and received his marching orders. McAnuff stepped up and curled in a glorious free kick to make it 1-0, the 36 year old was again in brilliant form and added a second this time, cutting in from the right and smashed home from around 25 yards.

Then a goal which definitely will be on Football blooper videos in years to come, Joe Widdowson back past bobbled over Brill’s foot, straight into the Orient goal. Guiseley couldn’t believe their luck, Kent Teague couldn’t believe his eyes. Would Orient blow another lead, no, James Brophy’s run slipped in Mooney who added a third and made it back to back wins at the end of March.

Definitely an up and down month, which certainly highlighted to Justin Edinburgh there was still plenty of work to do at Brisbane Road over the summer. A disappointing end to the FA Trophy run but being 2-0 down away from home after 16 minutes after throwing away a 3-0 lead in the original tie, you don’t deserve to go through. With Orient looking certain of National League status, would Orient keep their unbeaten run going until the end of the season…..

 

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February – 3-0 Leads are not all they’re Cracked up to be

February, an up and down month where being a Leyton Orient fan  literally puts you through the ringer. Keep on building under Edinburgh was the key and how far can we go in the FA Trophy?

First up a trip to Dover Athletic in the third round of the FA Trophy. Apparently It won’t be that interesting this one, well that was probably what most of us thought when the draw was announced. And how wrong were we. George Elokobi put the O’s ahead in the first half from a corner before the O’s highlighted their superiority just after the break. Macauley Bonne curled the O’s 2-0 ahead with a wonder strike before Matt Harrold struck home just minutes later. How many can we get? This could be any number?

Well, this is Orient and we never do anything easy. 3-0 up and cruising, then Orient do what they do best, crumble. Ryan Bird pulled a goal back before Orient should have buried Dover out of sight, Bonne twice should have netted but Dover responded. As the game hit last the ten minutes, Mitch Pinnock lobbed Brill after a mix up between Coulson and Brill. Then just minutes later, Ryan Bird equalised leaving the away end shell shocked and baffled to how their side have thrown it away. Then, the moment we had all been waiting for, 1533 days to be exact. A David Mooney chip actually coming off, the first since 23rd November 2013 (Swindon away).  In the 4th minute of stoppage time Mooney’s delicate chip sent the away end in to raptures.

Safe to say, it is never dull being an Orient fan.

Away from the excitement of the trophy, Tranmere Rovers travelled to Brisbane Road. Much less excitement in this one with Orient create a few chances going forward but James Norwood should have put Rovers ahead but poked wide. Orient were holding their own until what was still their Achilles heel, a corner kick, no marking and a free header from Ritchie Sutton put Rovers ahead just before half time.

Elokobi was far from his best in this one, and Norwood should have doubled their advantage after he robbed the O’s center back but blazed over. Then a stroke of luck for Orient, Caprice’s low cross fell to Holman who stabbed towards goal, the ball cannoned off a Rovers player and nestled in the goal. Brill had to be in top form to preserve a point, twice making brilliant stops from Cook to keep Orient ticking over.

Next up a trip to AFC Fylde, one of my favourite grounds of the season. Newly built, well presented, smart, a club on the rise. Unbeaten at home since early October, could Orient end that run, indeed they could and it should have been more than just the one. Holman’s and Bonne’s link up was good all game with the former brought down for a penalty which Bonne duly dispatched.

Second half, I still am puzzled to how Orient did not make it two, three and four. Squandering chance after chance after chance, we will be made to pay for them and we nearly were. A stunning block in the dying minutes, ensured Orient of three points and a precious clean sheet.

A midweek, overnighter up North in Chester was next on the agenda. A club who had their money problems, something Orient knew all too well after last season’s campaign. In a turgid game where chances were few and far between Orient grabbed all three points when James Brophy’s shouldered home in the second half. Somehow Bonne couldn’t make it two when he skied over when inches from the goal. Who cares. Two 1-0 away wins on the bounce, a long while since that happened.

Last up Gateshead at home in the quarter final of the FA Trophy, we all know what happened in the last round. Josh Koroma curled Orient ahead with a glorious strike before the break and the O’s looked comfortable. In a game where it was streamed all round the world, they were presented with LOFC goal of the season when Ebou Adams thundered home from 30 yards to make it 2-0. Josh Coulson glanced Orient into that “comfortable 3-0 lead again”.

Then the game changer, Danny Johnson gave Gateshead home turning home with 22 minutes to go before Ebou Adams left the pitch with an injury. A blow which saw Orient sit deeper and deeper, a mix up at the back leaving Coulson on his heels saw Johnson nip in and make it 3-2 with 12 minutes to go. It wasn’t going to happen again was it? To right and every Orient fan knew the inevitable was coming. We have supported the O’s long enough to know that it was just what minute was the equaliser coming.

The 90th minutes was the answer when Richard Peniket glanced home the leveller to give the Orient fans a lovely, trip North to Gateshead on a Tuesday night. Cheers lads..

Normally pundits and ex professionals state 2-0 is the most dangerous score line in football. After February’s shenanigans being an Orient fan 3-0 is just as dangerous. A replay in the trophy coming in March but Orient should have sitting comfortably in the Semi’s. The question was how much would this set back affect them?

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January – 2018 the Year to Build

A new year, a new start, a new gaffer. 2018 the time to keep building under Justin Edinburgh. After four wins in his first six games in charge, Edinburgh was looking for his side to keep their run going and continue on their upward curve.

First up a trip to local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge, the fourth meeting between the sides in just over three months. A battling 0-0 draw at Victoria Road with it being Orient’s fourth game in eight days and their second in three days. Chances were at a premium with Brill continuing his great form with a brilliant save from Mason Bloomfield in the first half. The O’s were backed by a stable base in defence since Edinburgh’s arrival and should have nicked the points. Mooney saw a header brilliant saved by Mark Cousins but it ended all square.

A contrasting start to 2017 where Orient lost 4-0 away in Exeter, the signs were promising.

Boreham Wood at Brisbane Road next, the side that sit just over 20 miles away, could only bring 166 away fans just down the road. A poor show but their team on the pitch wasn’t, highlighting why Luke Garrard’s men were in the upper reaches of the league. Brill was on hand once more to keep Orient in a game denying Alex Davey from close range. Kieran Murtagh smashed the bar as Boreham Wood were right in the driving seat.

Given a rocket at half time, Orient were much better, Dayton should have scored but his shot from distance flew wide of the goal. Then the controversy, Mooney “collided” with Wood’s keeper, leaving Bonne to slot home but oh no, referee Samuel Allison blew for a foul, debatable to say the least. But another positive, back to back clean sheets for an O’s side who let letting goals in left, right and center early in the campaign.

Away from league action, Orient travelled to Bognor Regis in the second round of the FA Trophy. Another winnable tie in a competition where Wembley was in the offering, but Bognor were well up for the contest. A debut for on loan Norwich midfielder Ebou Adams, who saw the game play around him, as he looked far from match fit. Bognor were the better side in the first half with Brill the busier keeper but in the second half, the game changed. Bognor were reduced to ten men when Richard Gilot received a second yellow card.

Not to accept the advantage, Widdowson receive a second yellow too, ten men apiece but the O’s did take the lead when who else.. Bonne headed home from close range. The O’s were seeing a game out, well that was until a world class finish from Jimmy Muitt. The ball fell out to him and safe to say the best goal scored against us this season, he smashed in on the half volley. Extra time, where Josh Koroma curled Orient into round two, but safe to say, the O’s couldn’t scored a third to safe their lives. Anyway, round three awaits.

Back to Brisbane Road, where Aldershot Town were the visitors, a game where somehow the Orient managed to leave without even a point. The game had barely started when Bonne slotted Orient ahead then the barrage on the Shots goal. It barely seemed possible two months ago that Orient would be dominating against a top side but that is exactly what they were doing. Bonne, Holman and McAnuff all found Lewis Ward in magnificent form in the Shots goal. But, the sucker punch game when Shamir Fenlon levelled just before the break.

After being in relative control, a carbon copy to Hartlepool in September a goal just before the break and one straight after. James Rowe’s free kick smashed the bar before Will Evans slotted home the rebound. But Orient responded, when George Elokobi bicycle kicked the O’s level from a corner. A draw was about the right result but the impressive Brill who had earned points in the last month saw a shot fizz beneath him and hand Aldershot the win.

January ended with a Tuesday night trip to FC Halifax after the trip early in January was postponed due to an uncovered frozen pitch, don’t get me started on that one. Fox in the box, Bonne netted once more to put Orient ahead before the O’s again appeared to forget that Halifax had that very small, 6ft 8 center forward Tom Denton, who levelled.

But the O’s had been different under Edinburgh and Josh Koroma gave Orient a deserved half time lead. A game where Ebou Adams’s emergence came to the fore where the on loan Norwich midfielder “rolled down the A1 with three points”. Another positive performance and result, where Kent Teague highlighted his love for George Elokobi at the end of the game.

Five Games, one defeat, the positivity continues, Orient continued to climb and with a third round tie in the FA Trophy in February, could Orient end up at Wembley?

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