It’s international rescue for Orient!

JASON DEMETRIOU grabbed Orient s late winner on Saturday - but could so easily have missed the match and been on World Cup duty with Cyprus instead writes TREVOR DAVIES. Demetriou, who qualifies to play for Cypus through his grandfather, was still awaiti

JASON DEMETRIOU grabbed Orient's late winner on Saturday - but could so easily have missed the match and been on World Cup duty with Cyprus instead writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Demetriou, who qualifies to play for Cypus through his grandfather, was still awaiting clearance to play in the World Cup qualifier against Georgia.

"I'm still waiting for my passport to come through," admitted the 21-year-old midfielder after the game.

"I would have been in the Cyprus squad had everything come through in time," he added.


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While Cyprus were beating Georgia 2-1 at the weekend, Orient recorded an identical result thanks to Demetriou's goal.

Now the O's head to bottom-of-the- table Cheltenham on Saturday, knowing that another win would lift them further away from danger.

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Demetriou insists that no points target has been set for survival this season, but with Orient now in 15th place, the youngster is convinced they will beat the drop.

"The position looks a lot healthier now," he said.

"It makes your weekend better and you're all ready to come back in and train on Monday."

The O's go to Cheltenham having won four of their last five matches and there will be genuine competition for places when they travel to Whaddon Road.

With on-loan striker Simon Church back from international duty with Wales, Adam Boyd fit again and star defender Tamika Mkandawire likely to have shaken off a medial ligament injury, O's boss Geraint Williams will have some selection posers ahead of the trip.

Williams will have to decide whether to restore Church to the starting line-up, or stick with Wayne Gray, who began a game for the first time on Saturday, since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury back in August.

Orient will be keen for revenge on Saturday, as they lost 2-1 at home to the cash-strapped Robins back in December, a victory that remains their one and only away success all season!

But, with a new found confidence in the camp, Demetriou is sure the O's can continue their revival.

"We're starting to put some distance between us and the teams below us and there are a lot more sides involved in the relegation picture, which is massive for us," he said.

"Now we can start to relax and play our football.

"In the first half against Oldham it was a little bit panicky, a lot of boys were getting a bit nervous.

"But now we're slowly drifting away from the pack and, hopefully, we can keep going up the table."

Demetriou believes that new boss Williams has made his mark at the club.

The O's have taken 19 points from 10 games since he was appointed and Demetriou added: "He has made a massive difference.

"Obviously, everyone comes in with new structures and although I have got the utmost respect for Martin Ling, because he was the one who gave me the chance in football, this man has come in and turned the whole club around."

* ORIENT have won the CSI Sports Community Club of the Year award for League One.

The club received the award at a gala dinner at Grosvenor House, Park Lane on Sunday. Neil Taylor, LOCSP chief executive said: "It's great to receive this award, which is recognition for not just this year, but for the 20 years we've been doing this work.

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