Macauley Bonne’s second-half strike was enough to give us the advantage over Semi-Final opponents AFC Telford United.
Craig Clay got the game underway and The O’s had the first chance of the game just after five minutes when the Telford ‘keeper beat away Dale Gorman’s powerful free-kick but only as far as Macauley Bonne who couldn’t direct the ball on target with his head.
Soon after, Matt Harrold saw his header comfortably caught by Andy Wycherley in the Telford net when the front-man connected with Jobi McAnuff’s cross.
Orient were comfortable in possession throughout the half and had a glorious chance to take the lead shortly before the break.
Brophy found McAnuff on the edge of the box who fired at goal and forced Wycherley into a save, but the ball fell to Bonne who took a touch but fired wide of the target.
The O’s returned to the pitch with one change, Josh Coulson replaced Sam Ling in defence.
Daniel Udoh for Telford had the first attempt on goal in the second 45, he advanced on goal but fired wide under pressure from Coulson and Ekpiteta.
We finally took the lead after 54 minutes, Jamie Turley’s cross found Harrold’s head, the forward nodded down for Bonne to finish on the spin.
Just over ten minutes later, forward Josh Koroma was introduced into play his first appearance our home fixture against Maidstone earlier this year.
Our two wing-back linked-up and almost produced a goal, Turley’s inviting cross was met by the diving head of Brophy but he couldn’t keep it down to trouble the ‘keeper.
We went close with just 15 minutes left on the clock. Turley involved again, he headed Brophy’s cross back across goal but could only watch on as Shane Sutton got back to head it off the line.
There were few chances in the closing stages of the game but the O’s defended strongly and now have the advantage going into next weekend’s second leg.
ORIENT: Brill, Ling (Coulson 45), McAnuff (C), Clay, Bonne, Happe, Brophy, Gorman (Koroma 67), Harrold (Dayton 80), Ekpiteta, Turley
SUBS: Sargeant, Alabi
GOALS: Bonne (54)
TELFORD: Wycherley, White, Morley (Daniels 20), Royle, Sutton, Streete, Barnett (Smith 83), McQuilkin, Morgan-Smith (Brown 64), Udoh, Knights
SUBS: Martinez, Lilley
REFEREE: David Rock
ATTENDANCE: 3,622 (429)