Dayton hails Orient support and refutes deliberate boot throw claims
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:21 15 April 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
The winger was sent off during Saturday’s 2-1 win at Sutton United after the referee adjudged James Dayton had chucked a boot in his direction
James Dayton has called on the Leyton Orient fans to continue their great support for the club’s final three matches in this season’s National League.
The 30-year-old also insisted he did not intend to throw his boot in the direction of referee Daniel Middleton which saw him sent off during Saturday’s 2-1 win away to Sutton United.
Dayton had just been told by O’s physio Ketan Patel he had dislocated his ankle and chucked his boot away in frustration with 71 minutes played at Gander Green Lane.
Referee Middleton initially appeared to pull out a yellow card, but then produced a red card for the Orient number 11 while he was being stretched off the pitch.
Dayton said: “Firstly I love these lads and I’m buzzing for them to go on and get three points. I would never do anything to put that in jeopardy.
“I have come back from a long-term injury, felt I was playing well and was in a lot of pain and I had just been told I had dislocated my ankle and subsequently threw my boot in frustration.
“In no way was it intended to be aimed at the referee – it wouldn’t have bounced three-to-four times if it was!
“Thank you for all your well wishes and support on Saturday. Please carry this on for the next three games. Come on you O’s!”
After Dayton had been dismissed, O’s still managed to find a winner when Macauley Bonne was fouled by U’s goalkeeper Ross Worner in the 89th minute.
Orient’s top goalscorer then displayed nerves of steel to drill into the corner and earn Justin Edinburgh’s team a crucial three points to keep them top.
Unfortunately the east Londoners will now have to continue their quest for the title without Dayton, who is set to miss the rest of the campaign and the trip to Wembley Stadium for the FA Trophy final on May 19.
Given the former Cheltenham Town wide-man is out of contract at the end of the season, his last noteworthy action for O’s could be his red card at Sutton.
However, regardless of what happens in the summer, Dayton should be remembered for his rare, but brilliant goals this season away to Chesterfield and at home to Barnet.
Assists occurred far more regularly than his goals and his back heel to Sam Ling in the build-up to James Brophy’s winner against Eastleigh on April 9 will also live long in the memory.
During the first half of the campaign Dayton was a crucial cog in the wheel of a team which stormed to the summit with a stunning 13-game unbeaten run.
Since then, Edinburgh’s team have largely been leaders and a big part of that is down to Dayton, who will now hope his team-mates can finish off the job.