Interim head coach dedicates victory to Edinburgh family
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Josh Wright scored the only goal of the game against Cheltenham Town to hand O’s three points on the opening day
Leyton Orient interim head coach Ross Embleton insisted Saturday's 1-0 win at home to Cheltenham Town was for Justin Edinburgh's family and reiterated they will always be welcome at Brisbane Road.
It was the O's first competitive fixture since their late manager passed away in June and predictably it was an emotional afternoon.
While there would have no doubt been tears shed, it was a celebration of Edinburgh's life and fittingly his final signing, Josh Wright, grabbed the winner in the 68th minute.
He celebrated in front of the West Stand where the family were sitting and unveiled an Orient shirt with 'Edinburgh 3' on the back.
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It was a moment to savour and a positive memory for everyone to have after the most difficult of summers.
Embleton said: "Whether the Edinburgh family are here at games or not, we know they will always be with us as we do with Justin.
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"From a personal perspective, but I know the lads would join me in saying this, that win was for them.
"We want to make sure they are always welcome here, which they obviously are, but they are comfortable when they come as well."
Tributes for Edinburgh took place before kick-off with a giant flag displayed on the pitch, which had been created by Cheltenham supporters group 1887 Red Army, and carried around to show all four corners of the stadium.
A flag by Orient fan Darren Reisman was on present and a minute's silence occurred before the game got underway.
On the club's League Two return, O's started slowly and were fortunate not to give away a penalty in the sixth minute when Luke Varney went down in the area after a coming together with Dean Brill.
No spot-kick was awarded, but Orient did lose their goalkeeper not long after due to the incident with the experienced stopper suffering concussion.
"At the time I was a bit angry because I was thinking 'he has only gone down with his back, he has covered that well over the last 10 days' but I got a quick message that it was concussion," Embleton said.
"It was off the back of the penalty appeal and the guy had made contact with his head. I know we have to go through procedures to make sure he is capable and allowed to play and train again. I'm hoping it's not too serious."
Brill's early departure meant he couldn't celebrate his new contract, which the club confirmed on Thursday.
The O's number one has agreed a deal until the end of the 2020/21 campaign and so has defenders Josh Coulson and Dan Happe.
Orient keeping all three players is key, but especially the latter given the interest in the academy graduate this summer.
Happe has been chased by clubs higher up the football pyramid, yet the League Two side have held onto his services and signed him up for the next two seasons.
Embleton added: "With Dan, I've said a couple of times about what a talent he is and where he can get to is endless, but it's vital for him at the moment that he plays football at first-team level.
"It did not surprise me one bit that people were looking at him and showing an interest, but I think he will progress by staying in this team and being a big part of what we do. I'm delighted to get him over the line.
"With the other two, Deano and Josh, they do speak for themselves, but we have to talk about their presence. Deano being back in training and his voice and the way he imposes himself on the group is so key and so is Josh's character.
"I read some of Josh's comments about him coming to the club, but he has embraced the club.
"His family are here every week, his kids are a big part of what we do and he epitomises the togetherness and the feeling the group have for each other, so I'm delighted all three have signed new deals."
Brill will now hope he can recover from concussion and join Happe and Coulson in the starting XI as soon as possible.