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Frustrated Edinburgh left with mixed emotions after stalemate

PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 October 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's boss revealed the club intend to appeal Joe Widdowson's red card against Hartlepool United

Justin Edinburgh cut a frustrated figure after Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United had played out a thrilling goalless draw at the Breyer Group Stadium this afternoon.

The O’s had to play the majority of the second half with 10 men after Joe Widdowson saw red in the 58th minute.

It didn’t stop Orient though, and if anything it seemed to inspire them as James Alabi, James Brophy, Marvin Ekpiteta and Josh Koroma all nearly produced winners.

Hartlepool held firm, however, to slightly disappoint the 6,283 home supporters inside the stadium, who were trying to suck the ball into the net in stoppage time.

Edinburgh said: “I am very proud of the performance and the manner we played. We moved the ball well at times against a team who come here to frustrate us.

“I thought it was a better performance compared to how we played against Sutton United (September 29) and even when we went down to 10, we still looked like we would win the game.”

On the red, Edinburgh added: “The decision was completely wrong. Joe was in control, his feet never left the ground and it was a strong challenge, but I don’t know where it says in the rules you cannot tackle strongly.

“There was no malice, no recklessness and he was always in control and I have viewed it many, many times and slowed it down.

“I will not be in the appeal, but if anyone has played the game and is on the panel then it should be rescinded.”

Referee Adrian Quelch booked three Orient players and another three of the visitors while he also handed a red to Widdowson.

A frustrated Edinburgh bemoaned: “What you get told in that room when you have to give the team sheet in and you have to present yourself and do the things they ask, is that he will be consistent in his decision making and that didn’t happen.

“We were in control, but his consistently poor decisions infuriated us and we lost control a little bit.”

Despite the sending off, Orient stuck to their guns and went for a winner with Alabi put through, but with the angle tight he was unable to beat Scott Loach, who saved with his feet.

Brophy was the next to get into the area, but he side-footed wide with his weaker right foot when he should have scored.

Ekpiteta then saw a header tipped over after Josh Coulson had headed back a cross and it was then Hartlepool’s turn to threaten.

Substitute Marcus Dinanga forced Dean Brill into a fine save low to his right and O’s number one had to deny Connor Newton from inside the area moments later.

There was still time for substitute Koroma to beat a couple of players and look for the net, but his strike deflected wide and even though he whipped a wonderful ball across the face of goal following the resulting corner, it ended goalless in E10.

O’s head coach Edinburgh concluded: “We stayed brave, kept two up top and went to three at the back. In the second half, if we had scored from Brophy, Alabi or the cross from Koroma it would have been the gloss for us to finish off and win the game.”

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