O’s head coach proud of squad for historic start to league campaign
PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 September 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
Macauley Bonne’s hat-trick helped Orient earn a 5-1 win at Braintree Town to make it 13 games without defeat this season
Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh felt proud of his players after they made it 13 games without defeat this season following a 5-1 victory at Braintree Town to set a new club record.
The O’s previous best start to a league campaign was 12 matches without defeat and this was set in the League One 2013/14 term.
At Cressing Road, Orient had the opportunity to set a new record and did it in some style with a clinical display against the Iron.
Edinburgh proudly stated: “The players have broken a record and people will always talk about that, but we want to continue this.
“We know we are there to be shot at, but the group will not allow complacency to creep in.
“A lot of people probably went to Braintree and thought complacency might creep in, but credit to the players because they are the ultimate professionals and it was a good away performance.
“It was like a home game, but we had to treat it like an away game and credit to the players for their mentality.”
Orient went ahead after only seven minutes when Macauley Bonne finished from the penalty spot after Josh Koroma had been fouled.
Braintree fought back impressively, however, and levelled through Lyle Della-Verde in the 23rd minute after good play by Michael Clark.
The O’s didn’t let it knock them off their stride and went back in front five minutes before half time when Marvin Ekpiteta swivelled and drilled home.
Once Orient got the second period underway, they went for the jugular and made it 3-1 with 57 on the clock when Josh Koroma lobbed Ben Killip following a well-weighted Charlie Lee pass.
It then turned into the Bonne show as the marksman grabbed his second in the 65th minute at the back post before completing his hat-trick five minutes later to extend O’s lead at the top of the National League table.
Edinburgh added: “I am sure a lot of supporters come to Braintree and thought it might be the banana skin and the one where it would go wrong being the 13th game, so all those things superstitious people believe in.
“So what I have to say is the players deserve huge credit because they have put out a statement of intent.
“Macauley has gone home with the match ball. He was running around for it after the game and had it up his top.
“I am not sure if he has the right ball, but I am pleased for him and it probably puts him top of the goalscoring charts. He is starting to click into gear now and dispatched all three of his goals very well.”
While Edinburgh kept faith with the same starting XI for the ninth consecutive match, he did make a change to his bench.
James Brophy returned from injury to take Matt Harrold’s spot among the substitutes and he was introduced in the 71st minute.
The Orient head coach admitted: “It was a difficult decision. I left Matt off the bench and that was a tough one and a decision which wasn’t made lightly.
“I thought it would be a tight game and I felt James might be required because Braintree would get men behind the ball and if we didn’t get ahead or we weren’t as fluid as we might have been, we might need James to open them up. It was good for him to get some minutes.”
Edinburgh reserved special praise for the travelling support, with O’s having 1,334 there out of the 2,574 crowd, although it did seem like more Orient fans were present.
He concluded: “They were fantastic and we are delighted to be backed by those incredible numbers and we have put on a performance for all of them to go home happy.”