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A first clean sheet, but still areas to work on for O’s

PUBLISHED: 15:00 22 August 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Justin Edinburgh hailed Dean Brill’s positivity on Saturday while Joe Widdowson talked up the quality of Orient’s head coach

Leyton Orient defender Joe Widdowson heads the ball forward against Boreham Wood (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient defender Joe Widdowson heads the ball forward against Boreham Wood (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient kept their first clean sheet of the campaign on Saturday at home to Boreham Wood, but there were still a couple of uncomfortable moments for current number one Dean Brill.

The 32-year-old, who was one of O’s most consistent performers last season, only had to make two genuine saves in the National League contest and did it with ease.

Ricky Shakes tested Brill properly for the first time in the 53rd minute with a fierce drive from inside the area, which Orient’s goalkeeper parried wide, before seven minutes later the home custodian tipped over Connor Smith’s chipped effort.

On the whole, it was a relatively relaxed afternoon for the experienced stopper, but he did still have two worrying moments.

The first occurred early in the game where Brill came for a cross and although he was able to put off Josh Umerah, he didn’t look convincing.

And then after half time, there was a moment where Orient’s goalkeeper looked set to catch a simple cross, but saw it slip through his fingers.

Yet O’s boss Justin Edinburgh is not worried one bit and when asked about Brill failing to take a couple of crosses cleanly, he replied: “It isn’t a concern.

“I just want him to keep being positive. If he didn’t come for crosses then it would be a concern, so I have no concerns whatsoever about Dean.”

Pointing out Brill’s two slips is me being slightly hypercritical, but knowing the type of level Brill demands from himself, he will be eager to eradicate any small errors in his game over the coming weeks.

A positive for Orient and their goalkeeper is the fact Saturday saw them secure a first clean sheet of the campaign.

The confidence the weekend shut-out should bring will no doubt help Brill and the rest of his back four moving forward.

Edinburgh said: “Being a defender myself it is always nice to get that first clean sheet of the season.

“I thought it was merited and looking at the whole performance it was the best we’ve had so far this season.”

On the left side of the back four, Joe Widdowson produced another solid display and as Edinburgh mentioned post-match, he continues to go under the radar.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge defender has improved a great deal since the O’s head coach took over on November 29.

Before Edinburgh took over, Widdowson had performed to a high level at times, but his game wasn’t helped by the fact previous boss Steve Davis used him in a variety of different positions during the early months of the 2017/18 campaign.

Now the Forest Gate-born full-back is playing regularly at left-back, he is showing his quality week in, week out.

Widdowson, modestly, said: “I have had a decent and solid start to the season. The gaffer has been really good with me and gives me a lot of encouragement.

“He gives me plenty of advice and obviously had a very good career playing left-back so he gives me several pointers.

“He is a very good manager to play under, he makes all of the guys in the squad want to go out onto the pitch and do well. He gives us confidence and I am enjoying working with him.”

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