The O’s Head Coach, while speaking to Orient TV’s Dave Victor, said, “We were a little bit flat first half, we improved second half and started getting into the game and obviously it took a worldie of a goal to separate the two sides. We knew with the change of managers for their side that they’d be up for the game and for the fight so although we didn’t play well first half, I’m pleased with the way the lads dug in and got into half-time. Like I said, we had an improvement second half but probably just couldn’t get enough quality in the final third.”
AJ Leitch-Smith netted the winner roughly ten minutes before the end with a superb curling effort from the edge of the box and the O’s were dealt with a double-blow as Conor Wilkinson was required to be replaced through injury.
“Disappointing. It’s a muscular injury so we’ll have to assess him next week and see how long he’s going to be. It is disappointing for Conor as he’s been out for a period so it was good for him to come back. We’ll see how he gets on next week.”
The O’s finished the game with George Marsh playing at right-back as injuries to Sam Ling and Myles Judd left the side short in that area, and Fletcher praised his players for their adaptability.
“We were getting to the point where we were getting a little bit more possession in the game. Marvin’s done fantastic, he’s not a natural right-back and he’s done fantastically well and is looking to improve all the time so George just gave us a more of a dimension going forward. At any kind of level you need players who are adaptable and luckily we’ve got that.”
Fletcher told leytonorient.com that he expects to see improvement as they build towards cup games against Brighton & Hove Albion U21’s and Maldon & Tiptree through the next week.
“Whatever the result was today, we’d always be looking to improve. We’ll go again next week, keep working hard and trying to improve where we can and hopefully put it into good performances when we get to the games.”
The final word was reserved for the 353 Orient supporters who made the trip to Lancashire, “Fantastic. It is a long way up as we learned yesterday on the coach so fantastic for them to come up and support the lads like they did.”