I never doubted Bonne, says O's head coach
PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 March 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
The forward ended his seven-match run without a goal by scoring the winner against AFC Telford United on Saturday
Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh heaped praise on his main man Macauley Bonne following his winner at the weekend, but also reiterated how the team can’t always rely on the forward.
The O’s will take a 1-0 advantage to AFC Telford United on Saturday for the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final.
Bonne’s goal at the start of the second half settled the clash and ended his run without a goal which stretched back to January 26.
During his seven-game spell without a goal, the likes of Jamie Turley, Jobi McAnuff, Matt Harrold, Dan Happe, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Josh Coulson, Sam Ling, Jay Simpson and Marvin Ekpiteta have all stepped up and produced the goods.
After missing two sitters in the first half against the Bucks, it seemed Bonne’s barren run would continue, but he showed his class with a smart finish in the 54th minute to grab his 21st goal of the campaign.
Edinburgh said: “There is no doubt the boy’s a talent. He is a natural goalscorer and it showed in how strong his mentality was.
“After the two chances he had, he could have gone missing, but he stayed in there and got into a position to score the winner.
“I never had a doubt, it was never in question and all it took was his team-mates to score the other goals and that’s what it has got to be.
“We can’t always rely on Macauley to win us football matches, but he has the quality to do that and he showed it again.”
Bonne’s dip in form coincided with Josh Koroma having a spell on the sidelines after he sustained a hamstring injury during the 3-0 National League win over Maidstone United on January 26.
It was Harrold who set up the forward for his winner on Saturday though, and O’s boss Edinburgh believes the ex-Colchester United striker enjoys playing with all the different attackers at the club.
When asked about Koroma and Bonne’s partnership, he replied: “They play well together, but either player – whether it is Macauley or Josh – they can play with anyone.
“Matt Harrold played really well. I thought he was effective and gave us a focal point, but it is good to have Macauley and Josh back together.”
Koroma made his comeback on Saturday with a very bright cameo appearance off the bench, but O’s had to withdraw Sam Ling at half time.
The full-back felt some tightness in his hamstring and Edinburgh admitted there was never a chance they would risk the full-back’s fitness.
Jamie Turley moved to right wing-back for the second period and caught the eye, but it seems Ling’s issue isn’t anything major.
Edinburgh concluded: “Sam had a tight hamstring, so we’ll have to have a look at that over the coming days.
“I would never risk someone. I always work off the medical team and the player. Sam said it felt tight and I couldn’t risk someone getting a serious injury, so we took him off.”