Orient boss takes responsibility for draw and warns rivals - Bonne is going nowhere!
PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 November 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The O’s were unable to break down Aldershot Town, but remain in first position in the National League
Justin Edinburgh took full responsibility after Leyton Orient were held to a goalless draw by Aldershot Town on Tuesday night and then insisted top goalscorer Macauley Bonne is not going anywhere.
The O’s fired a blank for the first time since October 20 as the Shots frustrated them on a wet and windy night in E10.
Bonne, after finding the net six times in his previous five National League matches, was unable to score on this occasion, but his displays have caught the eye of clubs in the Championship according to website TEAMtalk.
Yet Orient boss Edinburgh insisted: “Macauley will not be going anywhere. He will be here until the end of the season – I can guarantee that.”
After winning 2-0 away to title rivals Wrexham at the weekend, O’s were unable to back it up against the Shots.
The visitors, to their credit, defended well and put several men behind the ball which restricted space for Bonne and team-mate Josh Koroma.
Orient had their moments and almost went ahead in the 16th minute, but a trademark free kick by Jobi McAnuff smashed off the crossbar.
Three minutes before the break the hosts attacked with purpose again, but just as Koroma was about to shoot Lewis Kinsella impressively slide in to force a corner.
Joe Widdowson headed over early into the second period before Adam McDonnell’s free kick for Aldershot forced O’s Dean Brill into a rare save.
Dale Gorman and James Brophy threatened later in the half before substitute, James Alabi, got through, but away custodian Will Mannion saved excellently with only 10 minutes left in east London.
Aldershot then nearly took home all three points when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong got past Myles Judd and crossed in for McDonnell, but Widdowson got back on the line to clear his header in the 83rd minute.
It finished goalless and so O’s three-match winning streak came to an end, but they are still top by a point ahead of Salford City and unbeaten in six matches.
Edinburgh added: “It was a tough night in terms of the level of performance we wanted, but I look at myself and perhaps it was a game too far for one or two.
“Maybe we did need to freshen it up, but after Saturday’s result I felt the momentum would carry us through, so I take responsibility because we didn’t reach the level of performances we have of late and we couldn’t quite break them down.
“I thought we started well, but as the game wore on Aldershot made it difficult and got plenty of men behind the ball, and I didn’t feel we had enough quality to find the needed pass or the momentum to get them on the back foot.”
After the stalemate, Edinburgh was asked about whether Orient would look to bring in reinforcements any time soon.
The O’s head coach said: “For us to continue this and to challenge we probably need one or two new faces that’s for sure.
“We probably need one more in a wide area with Josh Koroma doing so well up front now because I don’t like to keep moving him back out wide.
“It is a little bit unfair on him, so we might need another in a wide area and you can never have enough strikers.”
Edinburgh also allayed fears influential midfielder Craig Clay could be missing for a period of time after he was replaced at half time.
He added: “Craig took a blow and had a lot of swelling around his knee which stopped his movement as he couldn’t get full range and I thought we missed him.
“I think he will be alright for Saturday (at home to Gateshead). It was only a dead leg, but it was right at the top of the quad muscle and the swelling had gone around into his knee so he couldn’t get the flexibility needed to play on.”