CAP­TAIN CLARKE’S GLASS IS HALF FULL

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Niall Kelly To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

DE­SPITE MISS­ING out on au­to­matic pro­mo­tion, Ley­ton Ori­ent cap­tain Nathan Clarke is just thrilled to be tak­ing his side into the play-offs.

The O’s suf­fered de­feat at Craw­ley thanks to goals from Gwion Ed­wards and Andy Drury, while Chris Dag­nall scored for the vis­i­tors – with Craw­ley the only side in League One to do the dou­ble over Rus­sell Slade’s men.

But with Brent­ford seal­ing pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship, Clarke knows how big Ori­ent’s task is.

“To be in the play-offs is such a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment,” said the skip­per.“I was at Hud­der­s­field at one time and the club went in a cou­ple of times and it’s a mas­sive thing. We have to go into it pos­i­tive.

“The re­sult against Craw­ley is dis­ap­point­ing but we have to move on from that and look for­ward to two mas­sive games in the play­offs.

“You just have to em­brace the play-offs, it’s a spe­cial thing. Over two games any­thing can hap­pen. We look for­ward to the Wolves match, al­though it could have been the game that de­cided the cham­pi­ons.

“Mo­men­tum go­ing into our fi­nal games is in im­por­tant but we need to keep ev­ery­one fit and ready for the play-offs.”

Craw­ley grabbed the lead in the 26th minute af­ter a lovely ball from Dan­nie Bul­man found Ed­wards un­marked in the area, al­low­ing the mid­fielder to slot in.

Al­most in­stantly af­ter, David Mooney could’ve equalised but the striker curled his shot wide of the tar­get.

Six min­utes be­fore half-time, Ori­ent did find that equaliser. Lloyd James’ cor­ner was met by Mathieu Baudry, whose knock­down was fired in by Dag­nall from close-range.

Through­out the game, Ed­wards was caus­ing Ori­ent prob­lems. In the sec­ond half the Swansea loa­nee had a shot from 25 yards tipped over the cross­bar and a header cleared off the line in quick suc­ces­sion.

With 20 min­utes to go, the hosts re­gained the lead. A lovely cross from Mike Jones was met by an un­marked Drury, who headed the ball in ex­pertly.

Both sides spurned ex­cel­lent chances one af­ter the other, with Mooney get­ting a poor con­nec­tion on his strike from close-range while Josh Simp­son did the same.

In the dy­ing sec­onds, the vis­i­tors pounded the home goal but noth­ing could get through thanks to some heroic de­fend­ing from Kyle McFadzean.

“You could tell in the last 15 min­utes that Ori­ent weren’t go­ing to get through our back four,” said Craw­ley boss Gre­gory.

“They had a shot a minute from the end and McFadzean dived in front of it full length, on the floor and chested it clear, which says ev­ery­thing about him.

“When they were stick­ing balls in the air, you could see McFadzean ris­ing above ev­ery­one else – he’s my John Terry.

“It’s no sur­prise since Mour­inho has gone back to Chelsea he’s played Terry and they’ve started to look like the Chelsea of old. Chelsea are solid with Terry in the mid­dle of de­fence and McFadzean is like my Terry.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

STAR MAN GWION

DS ED­WAR

y Crawle DEV­IL­ISH: Andy Drury, left, af­ter scor­ing the win­ner

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