Orient got 2019 started with three points in a 1-0 win against Dagenham & Redbridge at The Breyer Group Stadium.
A single goal for Macualey Bonne was enough to see the O’s retain their top spot in the Vanarama National League.
Orient ot the game underway, kept the ball well and kept the visitors under pressure. The frist chance of the game came from James Brophy’s cross which dropped at Macauley Bonne’s feet but Manny Onariase of Dagenham & Redbridge was in the right place to make the block.
Conor Wilkinson had the first chance of the game for the Daggers, the forward showed a burst of pace to break-through the O’s back line and test Dean Brill. The effort didn’t harm our number one who made the save.
Up the other end, Charlie Lee connected with the ball excellently following Jobi McAnuff’s cleared corner but his attempt dropped agonisingly wide of the target.
The Daggers thought they had taken the lead through Angelo Balanta who smartly finished off a good free-kick routine by back-heeling the ball in to the net. Luckily for Orient, the assistant referee on the nearside had his flag up for offside before the ball had reached the back of the net.
It was Orient who made their chance pay, Sam Ling’s early cross was helped on by the head of Marvin Ekpiteta, the ball then dropped to Bonne who headed home from a tight angle to take the lead shortly after the half-hour mark.
The sides continued to probe for a goal late in the second-half but neither could breach each-others defence as the half drew to a close.
Dagenham & Redbridge got the game back underway and Orient were on top when skipper Jobi McAnuff advanced 20-yards towards goal and struck the ball against the post from distance.
Josh Koroma was next to try his luck, McAnuff found the forward in the box he sent a crashing shot towards goal but it rebounded off the woodwork and out of play.
There were 70 minutes on the clock when Orient were denied by the woodwork for the third time. It was Koroma again, as he diverted Widdowson’s cross on to the crossbar.
Jobi McAnuff’s corner nine minutes from time was met by the head of Ekpiteta who steered the ball back towards the near post, however Wilkinson was on the line to smash the ball clear of danger.
Just over a minute remained on the clock when Koroma ran the length of the half, in to the box and around the Elliot Justham but fired over from 6-yards.
Four additional minutes were announced in E10 when Bonne’s looping effort dropped nicely into the hands of Justham after the forward cut on to his left foot to shoot.
Orient held on for the three-points which meant saw us move four points clear at the top of the National League table.
ORIENT: Brill, Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Widdowson, Brophy (Harrold 77), Gorman (Lawless 66), Lee, McAnuff (C), Koroma, Bonne
SUBS: Sargeant, Happe, Alabi
BOOKED: Widdowson (47), Koroma (86), McAnuff (88)
GOALS: Bonne (32)
DAGENHAM: Justham, Gordon, McQueen, Clark, Balanta, Goodliffe, Wilkinson, Wright, Munns (Reynolds 77), Hoyte, Onariase (Mullings 82)
SUBS: Moore, Blanchfield, Smith
BOOKED: Onariase (32)
REFEREE: David Rock
ATTENDANCE: 6,001 (647)