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Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay wants another Wembley trip in May

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 January 2018

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay gets away from two Haringey Borough opponents (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay gets away from two Haringey Borough opponents (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The former Grimsby Town ace has history with Bognor Regis Town and hopes another win this weekend will see him return to the national stadium

Craig Clay already has three Wembley appearances to his name and wants another with Leyton Orient eyeing glory at the national stadium in the FA Trophy this season.

The O’s travel to Bognor Regis Town this weekend looking to get past the National League South strugglers and qualify for the third round.

Clay reached Wembley in May 2015 with Grimsby Town, but suffered disappointment after the Mariners lost 5-3 on penalties to Bristol Rovers following a 1-1 draw in the National League play-off final.

He made amends 12 months later by starting Town’s 3-1 play-off final victory over Forest Green Rovers on May 15, but seven days after that triumph the Lincolnshire-based side lost the FA Trophy final 1-0 to Halifax Town.

After failing to appear at Wembley again in 2017, the former England C midfielder now wants to return there this May with the O’s.

“It goes without saying as a player, you want to win every game you play no matter what competition you are playing in,” said Clay.

“Everyone wants to be successful and the last tie at Haringey Borough (2-1 win) helped us get some winning momentum and that breeds confidence, so we are not going to take it lightly.

“We want to get to the final of the FA Trophy and win it so we will be giving it our all in the Bognor Regis game.”

After being given a scare by Haringey in the previous round, Orient know not to underestimate their National League South opponents.

The Rocks have struggled this season and are second bottom in 21st position after winning just three of their 25 league games to date.

But Clay warned: “We won’t underestimate them. We all know these games are tough.

“You go into it and you might beat the opposition by a few goals, but you’re expected to and if it is not by too many then everyone will know we should have done better.

“But the aim in these type of games is to put in a professional performance and get away from the place with a result.

“We won’t underestimate Bognor Regis, but we will worry more about what we do and go from there.”

If O’s are professional, they should progress, but if they aren’t, it may be a tricky tie with Rocks reaching the last four of the competition in the 2015/16 campaign before losing a two-legged semi-final contest to a Grimsby team containing Clay.


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