Orient assistant Embleton draws on positives after dramatic Ebbsfleet conclusion
- Credit: Archant
Justin Edinburgh’s number two reflected on the 1-1 draw and some of the heated exchanges after the full time whistle
Ross Embleton admitted it was “frustrating” to see Leyton Orient concede a late leveller at home to Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday night, but tried to draw on the positives following the entertaining National League encounter.
The O’s looked to be heading for a first win of the season after James Brophy opened the scoring in E10 with a fine 18th-minute strike.
But Fleet equalised in the first minute of stoppage time when Corey Whitely’s effort from outside the area skidded off the surface and beat Dean Brill to find the corner.
It was slightly harsh on the hosts, but assistant boss Embleton said: “We need to be positive. We knew it would be a tough start against two teams who will be big challengers in the league this season.
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“We all know what everyone thinks of Salford City, but I think Ebbsfleet sometimes go under the radar, especially with the power they have to bring players in and you can see that with the personnel they have got.
“I think we knew these two games would be tough and a positive is we are unbeaten after them.”
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Orient actually made a slow start to proceedings and were camped inside their own half for most of the first quarter of an hour.
Then in the 18th minute, the hosts went ahead when Macauley Bonne did well on the right and cut back for Brophy to slot home.
Embleton added: “We started the game very slowly and probably in the past you would have seen us go one goal down after the start we had, but the boys showed a huge amount of character to defend the area and be a bit gritty.
“Even though we weren’t fluid and great to watch at times, we hung in and then against the run of play we got the goal.
“We know James has that quality and we know the team, once they get control of a game and control of the ball up the pitch, have players with James’ quality who are capable of taking opportunities.”
It was a well-worked goal, but Ebbsfleet responded with Myles Weston testing Brill and Jack Powell curling a free kick wide.
Half time eventually came and O’s improved following the restart with Jobi McAnuff almost producing a fine goal in the 63rd minute, but seeing his final effort blocked.
Substitute Josh Koroma was the next to go close, but Nathan Ashmore saved his volley and then Ebbsfleet’s Michael Cheek hooked over.
James Alabi squandered a great opportunity to seal the points too and it proved costly as Whitely got too much space and beat Brill to ensure O’s had to settle for a point after a thrilling contest.
Tempers became heated following the final whistle with both sets of players and staff involved in the middle of the pitch.
“To be honest the gaffer is absolutely soaked, so I don’t think the shirt would have looked so good after the rain he stood in,” said Embleton, in reference to why he was doing media duties instead of head coach Justin Edinburgh.
“I am just filling in for him on that front. I think tempers and emotions were running high and it was an emotional game, but a very competitive one across the evening in general without what happened at the end.
“Even though both managers were on the pitch, I wouldn’t read too much into it. I just turned around and saw a lot of bodies coming together.
“I think it is safe to say both the gaffer and Daryl (McMahon) were in there trying to calm things rather than make it worse.”