Justin Edinburgh will make sure Leyton Orient react positively after their FA Trophy exit at Gateshead
- Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo
After losing a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 in the first tie, the O’s were left to reflect on what might have been after losing 3-2 in last night’s replay
Justin Edinburgh has vowed to make sure Leyton Orient bounce back strongly from their FA Trophy disappointment at Gateshead on Tuesday night.
Another thrilling encounter between the two sides occurred, after a 3-3 draw in the first meeting on February 24, and it was the Heed who progressed to the semi-finals of the competition with a 3-2 win.
Danny Johnson’s first-half brace put Steve Watson’s team in control, but goals after the break from James Brophy and David Mooney levelled for the O’s with 20 minutes left at the International Stadium.
Richard Peniket popped up with a third goal for Gateshead in the 80th minute though, and it proved to be the winner.
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With Orient throwing away a three-goal lead in the original tie last month, this late loss only added to their overall frustration.
Edinburgh told the official club website: “One thing I said to the players in the dressing room after was ‘don’t for one minute think we are going to let this season peter out’ because I am determined to make sure that won’t happen.
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“What we need to look at is why we have allowed the final 20 minutes from the first Gateshead game to affect us over the last couple of performances because that’s frustrating.”
Orient’s cause was not helped by a combination of illness, injuries and ineligibility with Dan Holman, Sam Ling, Marvin Ekpiteta and Nathan Mavila not available because they were cup-tied.
George Elokobi (hamstring/illness), Jobi McAnuff (neck/shoulder), Charlie Lee (knee) and James Dayton (hamstring) were also unable to feature and to make matters worst, the O’s lost two more players on the day of the game.
Craig Clay and Alex Lawless both fell ill and it left Orient with limited options in the centre of midfield, but Edinburgh refused to use it as an excuse despite only naming four substitutes.
He added: “Obviously we had to make changes and I said to the players for the level we are at and where we want to get to, we can’t allow change to effect us as badly as it did.
“It rocked us and we had to stay in the game and it could have been a bigger scoreline at half time, but that’s where the positives come – half time onwards.
“We spoke in depth with the players and they came out and stuck to the game plan and executed it ever so well, but again we haven’t seen it through when we had a team on the back foot and when we looked like the team who was going to win.”
Individual errors proved costly for O’s, as they had done in the original tie at Brisbane Road, and Edinburgh admitted it is something he wants to cut out quickly.
“We’ve got to stop it because it seems to be a common theme at the moment,” said the 46-year-old. “We’ve gone from a team who were very hard to beat, were seeing games out and managing games very well at places like Halifax Town, AFC Fylde and Chester where we had to be on it, but of late we’ve come away from that.
“It’s frustrating, but it is something which will be addressed and put right and we have a lot of football between now and the end of the season.”
Orient’s head coach also paid tribute to the 125 travelling supporters who made the long trip to the North East.
In the end, it proved to be a hugely deflating evening, but Edinburgh again insisted he will right the wrongs which have crept into the O’s game over the last two weeks.
He added: “We are disappointed for the supporters. Our fans are magnificent and they’ve travelled a long way and there was a time where I thought we were out of the cup.
“Then I thought we were going to go on and win it - it wasn’t the case - and again it is frustrating, but it is my job to iron it out and that’s what I will do.”