Lee thankful to Edinburgh and O’s for Wembley experience

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:04 20 May 2019

Charlie Lee looks to find a Leyton Orient team-mate in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde at Wembley (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Charlie Lee looks to find a Leyton Orient team-mate in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde at Wembley (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The midfielder made his final appearance for Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde and paid tribute to the club

Leyton Orient fans applaud the players after the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde at Wembley (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient fans applaud the players after the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde at Wembley (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Charlie Lee admitted the squad were gutted they couldn't end the 2018/19 season with one last win in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde at Wembley on Sunday.

Danny Rowe's brilliant free kick in the 60th minute was the difference with the Coasters earning a 1-0 victory, but with the O's backed by almost 25,000 supporters, it was still a day to remember.

For Lee, it was his final appearance in an Orient shirt after being informed by head coach Justin Edinburgh he wouldn't be getting a new contract.

While it was a bittersweet moment, the 32-year-old was delighted to finally get the opportunity to play under the arch at the national stadium.

"It was a brilliant experience. I have been around a long time now, but I had never played at Wembley, so I'm thankful to Orient for giving me the chance to play here and it was amazing," Lee said.

"We are genuinely gutted at how it ended, but it has been a brilliant season and we are immensely proud about what we achieved."

Leyton Orient players make the walk up the Wembley steps to collect their FA Trophy runner-up medals (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient players make the walk up the Wembley steps to collect their FA Trophy runner-up medals (pic: Simon O'Connor).

In terms of the game, O's were very slow out of the blocks and fortunate to not be behind at half time.

Alex Reid had a couple of excellent chances while Andy Bond missed a sitter from a few yards.

Orient improved after the break and hit the post three times through Jordan Maguire-Drew, Marvin Ekpiteta and Joe Widdowson.

Matt Harrold also inadvertently blocked Maguire-Drew's effort on the line which was destined for the back of the net.

Rowe then showed his class and why he won the National League's Player of the Year award with a wonderful free kick.

It wasn't to be for Edinburgh's team, but Lee remained hugely proud of everything they achieved this season with promotion to League Two secured.

He added: "We definitely had enough chances to equalise and maybe to win the game, but well done to Fylde.

"They won the game and they have had a really good season as well. Now Orient can look forward to League Two and this time in my life has been a proud moment."

Lee confirmed hours before kick-off this would be his last game for O's and it brings an up-and-down two years at Brisbane Road to an end.

He suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during the first month of the 2017/18 campaign and only returned the following April.

It was a long journey back, but he recovered and was a crucial member of this title-winning team, especially in the first half of this season.

The central midfielder made 35 appearances in the National League this term and scored in the home wins over Solihull Moors and Havant & Waterlooville, but he will now move on and target a sixth promotion with a different club.

Ex-Peterborough United ace Lee concluded: "It has been a brilliant season, but I had discussions with the gaffer and he said he wouldn't keep me on next season.

"He didn't have to involve me for the final, but he said I deserved it and I was immensely proud and very thankful he gave me the chance to come on because you don't get many chances to play at Wembley.

"I'll still be watching next season and I genuinely be cheering Orient on because it has been a brilliant two years and sky is the limit. I think a lot of success is coming the club's way."

The saying goes once an O, always an O and that certainly seems the case for Lee and probably most of this special group of players.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

29 minutes ago

England have named a 13-man squad for their long-awaited return to Test cricket against the West Indies next week, preferring Joe Denly to the uncapped Dan Lawrence and confirming Dom Bess as number one spinner.

53 minutes ago

London Lions are looking forward to playing in basketball’s Champions League next season.

Yesterday, 19:06

Recreational cricket is set to resume next weekend after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to back-track on his earlier claim that issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms made the sport unsafe.

Yesterday, 18:54

British Olympic and Paralympic sports governing bodies have been given assurances over their short and longer-term financial future.

Yesterday, 18:46

England’s final preparations for the long-awaited return of Test cricket were boosted on and off the field on Friday, with Sam Curran testing negative for Covid-19 and a handful of key batsmen spending important time at the crease.

Yesterday, 17:32

Premiership Rugby clubs can return to contact training on Monday in “significant milestone” towards the league’s planned resumption on August 15.

Yesterday, 15:41

David Moyes has saluted Steve Bruce for the “incredible” job he has done at Newcastle.

Yesterday, 15:30

Following a £7million investment towards preparing the country’s football pitches, the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England, are making a further £2.19million available through their Football Foundation to help clubs return to football.


The NHS Test and Trace service brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to stop the spread of the virus and help us move out of lockdown.

The UK Government has launched a campaign to shine a light on businesses and employees across the country who have responded to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.

Veterans are providing vital skills across a range of projects to help the country tackle the current coronavirus outbreak. From helping to build Nightingale Hospitals to delivering essential supplies to those who are shielding, they have helped thousands of people across the country. We take a look at how one such veteran is helping out.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser