Spot-on Bonne earns 10-man O’s massive away win
- Credit: Archant
National League: Sutton United 1 Leyton Orient 2
Macauley Bonne held his nerve on the stroke of full time to earn Leyton Orient a huge win in the National League title race away to Sutton United.
The O’s were heading for a defeat when Jonah Ayunga put the hosts ahead, but goals by Dan Happe and top goalscorer Bonne kept Justin Edinburgh’s team top with three matches left to play this season.
Orient were forced into an early change at Gander Green Lane when Sam Ling picked up an injury and was replaced by James Dayton in the 15th minute.
The two sides were not able to make the most of their chances in the first half and it stayed goalless at the break.
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Sutton didn’t need long after the restart to take the lead though, when Ayunga was given too much time and he drilled beyond Dean Brill.
Edinburgh’s team needed to show their character again now and they equalised via an unlikely source.
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A free kick was swung into the area and youngster Dan Happe got on the end of it for his second goal of the campaign and it was another important one.
Now it was all about if O’s could find a winner, but their hopes were hit when Dayton suffered a serious injury and needed to be stretched off the pitch.
To add insult to injury, the referee sent off the Orient substitute for allegedly chucking his shin pad in the direct of the man in the middle.
O’s didn’t let it know them, however, and in the 89th minute were awarded a penalty when Ross Wormer committed a foul inside the area.
After a slight delay, Bonne was tasked with scoring the spot-kick and unsurprisingly made no mistake to score his most important goal to date for the club.
The visitors held on comfortably throughout seven minutes of additional time to stay at the summit with a two-point cushion over Salford City.
On a day with the Ammies, Solihull Moors and Wrexham all won, Orient joined their rivals in clinching three points and it would no doubt have been a tough to take for the chasing pack considering O’s went behind and had 10-men in the second half.
Next up for Edinburgh’s men is a home encounter with Harrogate Town on Good Friday (April 22) and they will hope it is more straightforward than this result.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Coulson, Ekpiteta, Happe; Ling (Dayton 15), Gorman (Harrold 62), Clay, Widdowson; Brophy, Koroma (Lee 84), Bonne.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Simpson.