Perfect way to start for Orient’s match-winner Josh
PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 August 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
The former Gillingham and Southend United midfielder helped the O’s triumph in the club’s first match back in the Football League for two years
Josh Wright admitted Leyton Orient started in the perfect way, with a 1-0 win against Cheltenham Town at the weekend on a memorable afternoon at Brisbane Road.
The League Two opener had it all - referee controversy, two sent off and a winner which evoked great emotional scenes in east London.
New signing Wright, in his third spell at the club, got the goal with 68 played and celebrated by pointing to the sky in honour of friend and late boss Justin Edinburgh.
He also held up a shirt with the name of the legendary O's manager and 3 on the back in front of the family, who were sitting in the West Stand.
For Wright, it was poignant, he said: "I'm a team player and it doesn't matter who scores, I don't care because the main thing is three points.
"I always say whether it be at the training ground or in warm-ups, don't let games pass you by because it's a long season, but points are crucial whether it is one or three.
"You need goals and clean sheets, so it's about both ends and to be here for the first game of the season with all the emotion riding on it and to get the goal and the three points, you couldn't write it for me and that's the perfect way to start."
A minute's silence occurred before kick-off and two sets of flags were taken around the pitch, both acknowledging Edinburgh's contribution.
Then the action got started and the Robins wanted a spot-kick after six minutes, but Luke Varney was shown a yellow and Dean Brill looked to have got away with one.
He didn't last much longer, going off with concussion after taking a knock to the head in the penalty incident, but O's settled soon after.
Lee Angol was denied what would have been a great goal before half time, the offside flag raised, but the opener did arrive in the 68th minute as Wright slotted home.
"You try not to think about what you will do if you score, but you've always got something in mind and I came over to where Justin's family and friends were," he said.
"A lot of them were there and I could see them up on their feet, going wild like Justin would have been up in the sky.
"It's something that will stick with me forever and something that was very special for me and emotional, but the main thing was the three points and it's the three points and goal dedicated to Justin."
Cheltenham then finished with nine men when Varney got a second yellow and in the aftermath Rohan Ince received a straight red to cap a day to forget for the Robins.
For everyone connected with Orient and Edinburgh though, it was an afternoon to live long in the memory.
Wright concluded: "I think the emotions got the better of us in the beginning and Cheltenham started very well and put us on the back foot, but credit to us we regrouped and grew into the game and as it went on we got stronger and stronger."
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box below for details.