Head Coach Justin Edinburgh handed vital minutes to the majority of the O's squad in this evening's 3-1 win over Aston Villa U23.
Jordan Maguire-Drew and Dan Happe scored in the opennig half before Matt Harrold added a third to seal the victory.
Aston Villa got the game underway at The Breyer Group Stadium but the O’s won the ball back and looked to threaten the Villa defence immediately.
Jamie Turley looked to find Jordan Maguire-Drew inside the box with a good cross, but the number 10 nodded just wide of the far post.
Our second chance came through the head of Josh Coulson, he connected with James Brophy’s corner but couldn't keep the ball low enough to cause Viljami Sinlalo in the Villa net.
Josh Koroma was tripped up inside the box but the referee waved away the penalty appeals and awarded the O’s a free-kick from 20-yards out.
Maguire-Drew stepped up and curled the ball around the wall to give the O’s the lead in excellent fashion.
Our lead was doubled just over 10 minutes later. Maguire-Drew turned provider and put the ball on a plate for Dan Happe to head home from at the back post from the corner kick.
The O’s took a two goal advantage into the break and the same XI returned for the second half.
Macauley Bonne linked up with his partner Koroma, who attempted a first time shot from just outside the box but the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
Charlie Lee tried his luck from distance after some brilliant chest control to bring the ball down. His effort tested Sinlalo who had to take the sing out of the effort before he palmed it to safety.
Aston Villa pulled one back through Jaden Philogene-Bidace, the youngster arrowed the ball into the top corner from 30-yards.
But our two goal lead was restored moment later through Matt Harrold who flicked home Dale Gorman’s pin-point free-kick.
The remaining minutes were seen out in a calm fashion by the O's who will next appear at Wembley on Sunday, May 19.
ORIENT: Brill (Sargeant 62), Coulson (Lawless 57), Clay (Gorman 68), Bonne (Harrold 57), Maguire-Drew (Alabi 70), Happe (Ogie 68), Brophy (Sweeney 68), Koroma (Simpson 57), Ekpiteta (Ling 62), Lee (Shabani 78), Turley (Sotiriou 84)
GOALS: Maguire-Drew (11), Happe (22), Harrold, 77)
VILLA: Sinlalo, Burton, Revan (C), Bazeley-Graham, Patterson, Prosser, Odutayo, Tait, Pressley, Ramsey, Archer
GOALS: Philogene-Bidace (65)