Here’s the five things we learned…
1. Solid, Sam.
When Myles Judd pulled up with a tight hamstring in training on Friday morning, the coaching staff had a tough decision to make. Sam Ling had only just recovered from an ankle injury that has seen him miss large parts of the season so far. However, Ling was passed fit enough to put in a solid 68 minutes against Gateshead, a pleasing return which came a week earlier than expected for the defender.
2. Edinburgh’s game changers.
Justin Edinburgh’s brave changes during games have not gone unnoticed. You would have been forgiven for thinking the Head Coach would shut-up shop and look to preserve the one goal lead, but Edinburgh went for the killer goal, and it paid off. Attacking changes in the form of James Brophy and James Alabi stretched Gateshead and eventually forced an opener for Bonne to double the lead, which leads us nicely on to our next point…
3. ALABI, Alabi, ALABI, Alabi.
The forwards time in the starting XI has been limited, but his performances from the bench have caught the eye of many. Saturday’s cameo saw the forward record a well deserved assist. Excellent closing down on Gateshead’s Scott Barrow forced the skipper in to a weak back-pass, which Alabi pounced upon before he unselfishly squared to Bonne to finish off the Heed.
4. He’s been [Dean] Brill.
The shot stopper has appeared in every Orient fixture since Head Coach Justin Edinburgh took charge and re-ignited his playing career just over a year ago. Despite being left with little to do on Saturday due to good defensive work, he was present when called upon during his 350th career appearance. Saturday also saw the number one rack up his eleventh clean sheet of the season as an early 33rd birthday present.
5. Left it late.
We’ve scored a few late goals this season, Marvin Ekpiteta at Gateshead, James Alabi at FC Halifax Town and Matt Harrold against Dover. However, Macauley Bonne’s doubler kept us waiting the longest, it came seven minutes deep in to injury time! Cheers, Macca.