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Edinburgh credits players after dramatic finale with Halifax

PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 April 2019

Leyton Orient's Craig Clay applauds the fans (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient's Craig Clay applauds the fans (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's dropped to second, but managed to fight back from two goals down to claim a point at home to Halifax Town

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh heaped praise on his players for going right until the end to secure a point at home to Halifax Town this afternoon.

While in the cold light of day it was two points dropped by O’s and they are second in the division now, Matt Harrold’s 94th-minute equaliser felt like a pivotal moment.

It could make a massive difference at the end of the season too and although they are no longer top, if they win their game in hand at home to Eastleigh on Tuesday they will return to the summit.

Head coach Edinburgh said: “It was a dramatic finish, but in all honesty we were worthy of a point.

“On any other day we would have collected three, but credit to the players they went right until the end and got a valuable point to go with a very good performance.”

Great scenes occurred in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Harrold was able to divert the ball past Sam Johnson.

Edinburgh added: “I didn’t think it would go in. We had an incredible amount of shots from good positions and probably the most we have had for a long period, so I didn’t think it would come, but credit to the players.

“It went right to the wire and we have got a point out of a game which looked like it would slip away from us.”

The O’s were handed a lifeline straight after they fell two goals down – after Devante Rodney curled home to add to Manny Duku’s ninth-minute opener – when Josh Koroma fired into the top corner from the edge of the area.

“It was a great strike from Josh and we know he is capable of that, so I’m pleased with him and I thought him and Brophy were dangerous,” Edinburgh said. “I’m pleased for Josh and not only because of his goal, but the performance he put in.”

While the Orient boss was happy with the goals they eventually scored, he was far from pleased the two they let in.

Duku put Halifax ahead after a simple long ball had been flicked on and Matty Kosylo got in behind the O’s defence.

Even though Kosylo could only hit the post from inside the area, Duku managed to put the ball in at the second attempt after Alex Lawless had cleared off the line.

The second then occurred after Joe Widdowson sat off Rodney too much and he was able to bend into the top corner from 22-yards.

“We are disappointed with the goals we conceded and we are not going to hide away from that,” Edinburgh added.

“The last two games (including Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Bromley) we have conceded four goals and gone from one extreme to the other because we had clean sheets coming in abundance and now the goals we have conceded are poor goals.

“We know we can do better - collectively and individually there is room for improvement - and we need to get back to being in control. It was two long balls which caused two goals.”

Orient were without Marvin Ekpiteta for the match after he was sent off in the loss at Bromley on Tuesday.

With Jamie Turley injured, O’s switched from their recently favoured 3-4-1-2 system to a more traditional 4-4-2.

Edinburgh explained his thinking, he said: “We only had two recognised central defenders available and you always look at what you have available and you want to put those people in their best positions.

“If you look at it, only really Alex Lawless was out of possession, so we switched and I thought it was a good switch.

“I thought we played really well and the two wide boys caused problems for the opposition all day.”

Despite this Orient were unable to return to winning ways, yet will hope to be back at the summit come Tuesday night.

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