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AFC Telford United 1 - 2 Leyton Orient

Match Date: 23/3/2019
Competition: FA Trophy
Kick Off: 15:00
Attendance: 3478

Ellis Deeney90
Opposition Own Goals: 0

Team Sheet
Andy Wycherley
Ross White
Ellis Deeney
Jonathan Royle
Shane Sutton
Theo Streete
James McQuilkin
Brendon Daniels
Amari Morgan-Smith
Daniel Udoh
Ryan Barnett

Dominic Smith ( Replaced Theo Streete, 90 mins)
Sheridan Martinez
Darryl Knights ( Replaced Jonathan Royle, 58 mins)
Andre Brown ( Replaced James McQuilkin, 73 mins)
Matthew Barnes-Homer

James McQuilkinY
Theo StreeteY

Referee: Peter Wright
Assistant 1: Wade Smith
Assistant 2: Matt Corlet
Official 4: Alix Pashley

Leyton Orient booked their place at Wembley for May’s Buildbase FA Trophy final, but were made to work hard for their victory by a Telford side who pushed Justin Edinburgh’s side, but were unable to take full advantage when O’s Matt Harrold was sent off in the first half. Harrold had already put his side ahead, and after the Bucks Ellis Deeney hauled his side back into the tie it was Josh Coulson’s header from a free-kick that sent the O’s and their fans into dreamland.

O’s manager Justin Edinburgh said “The players have been immense. Everything that typifies this group we had in abundance today; character, resilience, togetherness. We were up against it, and credit to Telford, but we’re delighted to be taking Leyton Orient to Wembley, in a competition we have always felt we could win.”

Bucks manager Gavin Cowan, admitted to feeling a mix of pride, disappointment and frustration that his team had not been able to capitalise when on top early in the second half: “It wasn’t our day. It was there for the taking, but we were in too much of a rush to get the job done. Credit to them (Orient), they’re a phenomenal outfit.”

A packed New Buck’s Head was filled with home fans, full of belief that their team could recover a single goal deficit, and they almost had a dream start when an early corner saw captain Shane Sutton’s header graze the inside of the post. However, their optimism took a huge knock after just six minutes. Home defender Ross White looked to nod the ball back to his keeper Andy Wycherley, but hadn’t reckoned on Wycherley coming to claim the ball; White’s header rolled towards an empty net, and Harrold gleefully raced in to score.

The goal meant the Bucks took a while to get going, but with Deeney taking charge they started to drag themselves back into the tie. Their most potent threat was wide player Ryan Barnett, and he started to create opportunities, aided by O’s keeps Dean Brill; his questionable handling on a number of occasions offered encouragement to the home side. It was another O’s player who used his arm to different effect on 26 minutes, when scorer Harrold caught Sutton with a clear elbow and was immediately dismissed by referee Peter Wright.

The O’s had to retreat, as the tide began to turn, but no Buck seriously tested Brill until top scorer Dan Udoh, given some space for once, struck a shot from 20 yards of the inside of the post. That signalled the charge, and moments later Deeney drove a shot from similar range past Brill to level on the day.

Daniels then forced Brill to save a swerving effort before the O’s reminded the Bucks they were still in charge, Wycherley tipping Jobi McAnuff’s shot over.

The second half resembled more of a siege, as the Bucks went for broke. Barnett was again the spark, and a steady stream of corners followed, though the Bucks couldn’t convert. Too often they failed to test Brill, despite having the lion’s share of possession and territory for the opening 25 minutes of the period. It was a pace they couldn’t maintain, and as they slackened off, the O’s reasserted their authority. From a 77th minute free-kick, the ball was headed back into danger and Coulson popped us, as he frequently does, to nod home the insurance the O’s needed, and a heartbreaker for the Bucks.

With two goals to recover, the Bucks couldn’t find any more in the tank, and the O’s managed the game well over the closing 15 minutes to seal what was a deserved victory over two legs, if not on the day itself.

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