As Josh Coulson headed in the second goal, a realisation hit Leyton Orient fans all around the New Bucks Head. The O’s were heading to Wembley.
A 2-1 win against AFC Telford United secured Orient passage to the final of the FA Trophy and booked their ticket to Wembley Stadium, their second appearance at the home of football in just under five years.
A cup final on the 19th May caps off what has so far been a brilliant season for Justin Edinburgh’s side. Orient currently sit top of the National League table on goal difference with Solihull Moors, but the O’s have two games in hand over their league rivals, putting them in the driver seat for promotion back into League Two.
The FA Trophy final against Fylde will be Orient’s first cup final since the London Challenge Cup in 1993, where a Ricky Otto hat-trick saw Orient clinch the trophy in extra-time after the O’s went 2-0 up and allowed opponents Barnet to come back into the game.
Of course, promotion back into the Football League is the main priority this season for Orient, but to clinch extra silverware at Wembley will signal a return to the glory days for the east London side.
It will signal the end of the days of embarrassment that the club has had to endure, the times were Orient was so poorly run that it became a laughing stock of the Football League.
Time in the National League has been a blessing in disguise for Orient, as ever since the start of their first season outside the Football League in 112 years the mood and atmosphere around the club has been ever improving and bringing the fans and club back together again.
The 19th May will be a special day for Orient fans as not only will they be returning to Wembley with hopefully a smile on their face, but it will be remembered as the day O’s fans look back on and say ‘the best is just beginning.’
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