O’s progress in Trophy, but suffer Ekpiteta injury scare
PUBLISHED: 17:15 12 January 2019
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FA Trophy second round: Wrexham 0 Leyton Orient 1
Leyton Orient progressed into the last 16 of the FA Trophy thanks to Matt Harrold’s second-half penalty at Wrexham, but it was not all good news for O’s in Wales.
Early into the tie, Justin Edinburgh had to bring off central defender Marvin Ekpiteta and the hope now will be he has not suffered anything serious.
Orient made seven changes to the team which lost 3-0 at home to National League title rivals Salford City last weekend.
Josh Coulson missed out through injury, while Sam Ling, Joe Widdowson, Jobi McAnuff and Macauley Bonne were rested.
Dale Gorman and Josh Koroma were on the bench and Edinburgh handed starts to Myles Judd, Dan Happe, George Elokobi, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Alex Lawless, James Alabi and Harrold.
The O’s suffered a blow after 16 minutes though, when Ekpiteta had to be replaced by teenage left-back Jayden Sweeney.
Ekpiteta had suffered a couple of heavy tackles and was unable to continue, so Orient had to reshuffle their back four.
Despite both sides creating chances, it finished goalless at the end of the first half and the two teams went in level.
After the interval, the league rivals pushed for the opener and just past the hour mark O’s were awarded a penalty when James Brophy was fouled.
Up stepped Harrold and he fired home to score his third goal of the season to hand the east Londoners the advantage.
Following the opener, Orient remained resolute in defence, but their task was made even harder when Judd saw red in the 77th minute for a challenge on Rekeil Pyke.
Edinburgh’s team continued to work hard in the final exchanges, however, and held on to claim a superb away win.
Once again O’s had bounced back after a disappointing result and are only a handful of wins away from Wembley now.
Next up for Orient is a league clash away to Ebbsfleet United where they will hope to have Ekpiteta available.
Leyton Orient: Brill; Judd, Ekpiteta (Sweeney 16), Happe, Elokobi; Maguire-Drew (Koroma 75), Lawless, Lee, Brophy (Gorman 83); Harrold, Alabi.
Unused substitutes: Sargeant, Sotiriou.
Attendance: 1,949 (105 Leyton Orient supporters).