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Orient extend lead at the top of the National League

PUBLISHED: 21:43 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:43 26 March 2019

Marvin Ekpiteta celebrates with Leyton Orient team-mates Joe Widdowson (left) and Macauley Bonne (right) (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Marvin Ekpiteta celebrates with Leyton Orient team-mates Joe Widdowson (left) and Macauley Bonne (right) (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

National League: Leyton Orient 2 AFC Fylde 0

Leyton Orient remain top of the National League table after making it five consecutive victories with a 2-0 win over play-off hopefuls AFC Fylde.

First-half goals from Marvin Ekpiteta and Macaulay Bonne sealed the three points for the O’s and made them go two clear of second-place Solihull Moors with two matches in hand at Brisbane Road.

Boss Justin Edinburgh made one change from the side’s that sealed their place in the FA Trophy when they nabbed a 2-1 win over AFC Telford United with James Brophy coming into the starting line-up in place of Matt Harrold.

James Dayton and Jay Simpson were both back in the match day squad as they were named on the bench.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors after a mix up between goalkeeper Dean Brill and England C International Dan Happe allowed Alex Reid through but his effort was deflected wide of the goal in the fifth minute.

A minute later attacker Josh Koroma was brought down on the edge of the box by Neill Byrne but the referee waved play on.

Moments later the ball fell at the feet of Macaulay Bonne from a Jobi McAnuff free-kick.

The striker had his effort blocked and sent out for a corner, but nothing came from it.

In the 15th minute the hosts broke the deadlock as the skipper McAnuff whipped in a corner and picked out defender Marvin Ekpiteta, whose header took a slight deflection, before finding its way into the net.

Eight minutes later Justin Edinburgh’s men were awarded a penalty after James Brophy was brought down inside the box.

Up stepped Zimbabwean Bonne, who bulleted a shot into the bottom left corner past goalkeeper Jay Lynch, to double his side’s lead to 2-0.

After a strong start to the encounter defender Jamie Turley was forced off with a knock in the 37th minute just after a superb bit of defending by the former Notts County man.

James Dayton was brought on in his place and Brophy was moved back into a right wing back role.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time in the first-half, Ekpiteta was forced to blocks a shot and wins a goal-kick in the process to keep the score line at 2-0 heading into the break.

Fylde made two substitutions at the break bringing on Nick Haughton and Ashley Hemmings for Timi Odusina and Alex Reid with the later going close two minutes into the second-half.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge man broke and fired a shot just wide of the left post.

O’s defender Josh Coulson almost made it goals in back-to-back games when he poked a shot wide of the left post after a McAnuff free-kick found his way to him inside the box in the 51st minute.

Nine minutes later goalkeeper Brill had to pull off a vital save at the left post and push it out for a corner as Lewis Walters burst clear down the right.

Substitute James Alabi headed the ball down but was denied on the line by goalkeeper Jay Lynch in the 72nd minute.

In the 77th minute both side’s had a coming together with the result being Craig Clay and the visitors Jordan Tunnicliffe and substitute Dan Bradley being booked.

Fylde did have another good chance in the 82nd minute when striker Danny Rowe twisted and turned before getting past Happe and firing just wide of the goal.

The hosts managed to hold on and make it eight consecutive wins in all competitions.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Turley (Dayton 37), Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, McAnuff, Clay, Brophy (Gorman 94), Koroma (Alabi 61), Bonne.

Unused subs: Sargeant and Simpson.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne, Tunnicliffe, Hardy (Bradley 67), Croasdale, Philliskirk, Odusina (Hemmings 46), Walters, Reid (Haughton 46), Rowe.

Unused subs: Crawford and Brewitt.

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