Late goals down to team spirit insists Orient forward Harrold

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold celebrates after scoring in the first-half at AFC Telford United

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold celebrates after scoring in the first-half at AFC Telford United (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

The striker feels the intensity each day in training has contributed to a number of late goals for Leyton Orient in this season’s National League

Matt Harrold believes Leyton Orient’s late goals this season are down to the whole squad pushing each other day in, day out in training.

The O’s secured a 2-1 victory away to Sutton United at the weekend after winning a spot-kick in the 89th minute.

U’s goalkeeper Ross Worner tried to do some keepie uppies inside his own penalty area, but was tackled by Macauley Bonne and Orient’s main man was then brought down and referee Daniel Middleton pointed to the spot.

It saw the visitors awarded a penalty and Bonne kept his cool to fire home from 12-yards for a pivotal 2-1 win and Harrold says the late drama is no fluke after his recent stoppage-time goal at home to Halifax Town.


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He said: “You have to keep going, keep scrapping away until the end. We have banged on about team spirit and the squad atmosphere all season and moments like late on are what it is all about.

“Everyone has an impact from the bench because there have been no passengers this season. We have pushed each other every day in training and the result is late goals and it shows our spirit.”

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Orient’s victory keeps them two points ahead of Salford City with three matches left to play in the National League.

At one stage it seemed O’s would drop to second after Jonah Ayunga fired Sutton in front from outside the area in the 52nd minute.

Substitute Harrold helped turn the tide for the visitors as he won a free kick which Josh Koroma whipped in for Dan Happe to head home with 64 on the clock.

O’s hopes of a winner were then hit when James Dayton suffered a dislocated ankle and chucked his boot away in frustration which saw him sent off as he was leaving the pitch on a stretcher.

Yet 16 minutes after Orient were reduced to 10-men, they grabbed a decisive second as Bonne slotted into the corner for his 24th goal of the term.

Justin Edinburgh’s team then survived seven minutes of stoppage time to secure an excellent win and one which keeps them in the driving seat for the title.

With only three matches left, O’s know three more wins will guarantee promotion, but each fixture will bring about nerves.

All of Orient’s recent games have provided drama and you wouldn’t bet against even more being around the corner.

Harrold says everyone needs to enjoy this period of the season and backed the squad to come through and get the job done.

“We are in a strong position and we have amazing trust in the players we have got and as staff, as a group and as a whole club we are very together and that will be tested in the big moments coming up,” he said.

“I think we have to enjoy it and look forward to it. Obviously the club has been through a lot of hard times and who knows, it might be a bit sweeter if we take it to the wire.”

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