Cox ‘sick to the stomach’
- Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Orient goalscorer laments Wembley loss
Dean Cox could barely disguise his pain following Orient’s penalty shoot-out defeat in the League One play-off final at Wembley.
Cox had put O’s 2-0 up against Rotherham in the first half, tapping in from close range for his 17th goal of the season after Moses Odubajo’s stunning opener.
But Alex Revell’s second-half brace got the Millers back on terms before Cox was replaced by Shaun Batt 16 minutes from time.
Neither side could find a winner in extra time, though, and Mathieu Baudry and Chris Dagnall missed from the spot as O’s were consigned to another year in English football’s third tier.
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“Devastated. It’s just sickening, just sick to the stomach to be honest,” said Cox, who paid tribute to teammate Odubajo.
“He’s been like that all season for us, he’s been fantastic. It’s a worldy strike and he sets me up for my second and we go in at half-time 2-0.
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“(I was thinking) Please just hit it, and luckily for me it went in.”
Revell hit back soon after the restart, stabbing home from close range when Jamie Jones could not gather a free-kick.
And Revell squared matters with a stunning 35-yard half volley, with Cox adding: “Maybe we invited them on a little bit, but there’s not a lot you can do about their second goal, it’s a fantastic strike from Alex Revell.
“We worked hard in extra time and penalties it’s 50-50, it’s anyone’s game on penalties.
“I thought we were moving it around quite nicely. It was about getting the cutting edge to get another goal, but it wasn’t to be and it’s just devastating.”
Jones saved from Lee Frecklington early in the shoot-out, as Lloyd James, John Lundstram and Nathan Clarke converted Orient’s first three spot-kicks.
But Baudry and Dagnall saw their efforts saved by Alan Collin as Rotherham won the shoot-out 4-3 and Cox admitted it was going to be hard to face up to the defeat in the coming days and weeks.
He added: “It’s a million dollar question. It’s difficult, it will probably be best just to go on holiday to be honest because it’s going to be all over Sky Sports.
“The only way of getting away is getting out of the country, so book a holiday, go away refresh and come back raring to go.”