Leyton Orient player ratings: Solid base allows O’s to build on shaky start
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George Sessions provides Leyton Orient players ratings after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town at Brisbane Road
Josh Wright struck the decisive goal for Leyton Orient against Cheltenham Town on Saturday to start life in League Two with an important victory, which ensured Justin Edinburgh was remembered in the best possible way at Brisbane Road.
It was a day where the life of the late O's boss was celebrated and in the 68th minute his final signing at the club made the breakthrough.
With Josh Coulson marshalling the hosts' defence and Craig Clay buzzing around in midfield, Ross Embleton's team secured the three points with Robins finishing with nine-men after Luke Varney and Rohan Ince were sent off late on.
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Dean Brill (N/A) - An eventful 12 minutes for the first-choice goalkeeper at E10 with Brill fortunate not to give a penalty away in the sixth minute when he appeared to foul Varney. It wasn't given and he then saved impressively down low to his right not long after, but his afternoon ended with concussion immediately afterwards.
Marvin Ekpiteta (5) - It was a mixed day for Orient's talented centre back, who it's worth remembering was making his Football League debut. On several occasions early on he looked nervy and was given a tough first half by Varney. His passing was slack at times, but he did settle and should be better after what was maybe the biggest match of his career.
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Josh Coulson (8) - The first-team captain was unlucky not to score in the second half when Scott Flinders brilliantly flicked his header onto the crossbar, but it was at the other end where he shone, leading a young back three and substitute goalkeeper with brilliant guidance. He was in particular impressive during a testing opening period.
Dan Happe (7) - Similar to Ekpiteta, some slack passes, but he grew into the fixture and brought the ball forward well and sliced Cheltenham's lines with some brave and successful through balls. Excellent in the air and should only get better this season.
Sam Ling (8) - This was probably his best performance for Orient with the right-back enjoying his Football League debut. Some fantastic crunching challenges and while he was caught out once or twice on defensive duties, he also headed a dangerous cross away in the second half, which was crucial. He could have produced more quality in the final third, but did also need help and more movement in from of him. Brilliant outing.
Craig Clay (8) - The midfield maestro from last season picked up where he left off in April, with a display full of energy and drive. In the first half when Cheltenham were initially on top, it was Clay who helped wrestle back a grip on the game. He was busy as always, but also effective with his passing and excellent throughout.
Josh Wright (7) - An emotional winner and celebration, the summer signing deserves credit for another late run into the area, but he also performed well in the middle. A touch slow when in possession at times and not loads of adventurous passes, but tidy and of course popped up and kept his head when the chance presented itself.
James Brophy (8) - Handed a start at left wing-back, the versatile ace didn't have to worry about defending much and instead got forward on countless occasions in both the first and second half. He should have tried his luck with more shots, but always caused the opposition problems and got fans off their feet when it was needed.
Jordan Maguire-Drew (5) - Some nice moments, but not enough end product when was it was required from Orient's number 10. The signs suggest he will be a key man this season, but he needs to be more decisive when in the final third.
Conor Wilkinson (6) - Debutant probably cannot claim an assist after his shot was blocked to allow Wright to score, but he showed signs of why he was such a favourite at Dagenham & Redbridge. He linked up with Lee Angol in spells and they look threatening even if they were not given too much of the ball.
Lee Angol (7) - We saw more sides to his game on his first start for the club with a key knockdown in the build up to Orient's winner and the usual glimpses of skill and excellent finishing. He took his disallowed goal in the first half wonderfully and it was a reminder for his team-mates that if they create, he should deliver in front of goal.
Sam Sargeant (7) - The academy graduate didn't have much to do, but showed good signs of progression from his last stint in the team, almost two years ago. No rushes of blood or rash decisions and some good kicks and plenty of talking. An encouraging return to the first-team fold and he will push Brill this season.
James Alabi (N/A) - Not enough time to make a genuine impact, but delighted the O's faithful to see him come on at the end and he typically kept the ball well towards the end of the match.
Louis Dennis (N/A) - A debut for the recent recruit and first outing for the club and at Brisbane Road, but he will hope for more minutes at Macclesfield Town on Saturday.