Dunne: For 90 minutes I wanted to beat Orient, but now I hope they win title
- Credit: Archant
The former O’s defender is a player-coach at Bromley and helped the Ravens upset the National League leaders on Tuesday night
Alan Dunne would like to see Leyton Orient go on and claim the National League title despite playing a part in denting their promotion hopes with Bromley on Tuesday night.
The 36-year-old is a player-coach with the Ravens and helped his current side secure a 2-1 victory over the division pace-setters at Hayes Lane.
Josh Coulson put Orient ahead in first half stoppage time, but the hosts turned the game around with second-half goals from Frankie Sutherland and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild.
It was a highly charged encounter with both benches coming to blows and two red cards shown, but once the dust had settled, Dunne wished his old club all the best.
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He spent 18 months at Brisbane Road, but hardly featured after old O’s owner Francesco Becchetti told some Orient managers not to select the former Millwall captain.
Reflecting on the win over the leaders, Dunne told this title: “It is nothing personal, but it is always nice to go up against a former club and you want to beat whoever is in front of you and that is just my passion.
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“I had a great two years at Orient, there are some fantastic people there and they have fantastic fans and there are still people at the club who I speak to like Ada (Martin) the kitman.
“Honestly it is a great club and there are great people there, but when the 90 minutes come around you want to win and that is why we are in the game.
“I have a passion to win, the fans have a passion to win and that is all it is. I wished them all the best after and I am glad they are doing well.”
Marvin Ekpiteta’s red card seemed to change the course of the game at Hayes Lane after Orient appeared in control.
The former East Thurrock United defender brought down George Porter inside the area and referee Will Finnie gave the centre back his marching orders in the 47th minute.
Sutherland made no mistake from the spot two minutes later and Hackett-Fairchild put Bromley ahead with 63 on the clock following a wonderful Frankie Raymond cross.
Both teams had chances after with Macauley Bonne and Dan Happe firing off target and the Ravens hit the crossbar and post through Richard Brindley and Raymond late on.
Dunne added: “Playing against Orient, after a disappointing result on Saturday, we knew it would be tough because of the quality they have.
“They have quality all over the pitch hence why they are top of the league, but I think we improved in the second half after coming in 1-0 down at the break.
“Of course the sending off helped, but I felt it was a penalty and a red card and from then we grew into the game and we could have won it comfortably.
“Even though they had more possession than us in the second half, I thought we had the better chances.”
Bromley have played the top-two in the last few days – losing 2-1 in dramatic fashion at Salford City on Saturday and beating Orient by the same score on Tuesday – so are better placed than most to give their views on the title race.
Dunne believes the battle for the championship will go to the wire, but is hopeful Justin Edinburgh’s men will get the job done.
After signing for O’s in July 2015, the versatile ace only made 18 outings for the club and departed in January 2017.
He worked under six different permanent managers, but holds fond memories of Orient in spite of being part of Becchetti’s tumultuous era in charge.
“I was there during a rough time for the club and I could write a book about it really,” Dunne said.
“It was a crazy period and it was a real shame they went down, but they have new owners in now.
“After the game I had a chat with Lindsey (Martin) the secretary and she was telling me how great things are now and I do always keep an eye on Orient’s result.
“It is great to see them progressing again and I really hope they do it this season and go up.”