Widdowson and Orient players view FA Trophy as chance to play at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 December 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The former Dagenham & Redbridge full-back discussed why he believes the non-league tournament is important to the O’s
Joe Widdowson says Leyton Orient will be doing all they can to win this season’s FA Trophy and secure an outing at Wembley Stadium in the process.
The experienced left-back will most likely start Saturday’s first round tie at home to Beaconsfield Town, who play in the Southern League Premier Division South.
Justin Edinburgh’s O’s will be overwhelming favourites and the fixture could give the boss a chance to rest some of his key men, but Widdowson wants progress regardless.
He said: “We want to win and get through to the next round and we have to beat whoever is in front of us.
“It happens to be Beaconsfield, so we will treat it like any other game and try to win the tie.”
Widdowson is coming up to 400 professional games and despite this, he has not tasted success in terms of a trophy.
He was a crucial member of the Northampton Town team which reached the League Two play-off final in 2013, but they lost 3-0 to Bradford City at Wembley.
It is the closest Widdowson has got to winning silverware and yet he will hope 2019 will be the year when he breaks his trophy drought.
Orient are fighting on two fronts, promotion from the National League and the FA Trophy, and the former West Ham United defender insists this competition is high up on the club’s list of priorities.
Last season the O’s reached the quarter-finals before they suffered a disappointing exit to Gateshead after a replay.
Edinburgh’s side were 3-0 up and cruising into the last four at Brisbane Road when the Heed fought back to draw 3-3 and force a replay – scoring three goals in the final 22 minutes in the capital.
In the second meeting, it was the hosts’ who progressed by a 3-2 score and Orient’s hopes of playing at Wembley again and winning silverware were over for another campaign.
Now the largely same group of players will get a second bite of the cherry and it is one they are determined not to waste.
Widdowson added: “This is an opportunity to play at Wembley and win a trophy. I don’t think there are many of us that can say we have won silverware.
“It is a competition we will take seriously and we look forward to being competitive in it this season.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.