CHURCHILL AIDS ORI­ENT EF­FORT

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

RUS­SELL Slade is chan­nelling the spirit of Win­ston Churchill to in­spire his Ley­ton Ori­ent side to Cham­pi­onship foot­ball next sea­son.

Goals from Kevin Lis­bie and Chris Dag­nall sealed a com­fort­able win over strug­gling Tran­mere as the O’s con­tin­ued their prepa­ra­tion for the play-offs.

And Slade is now plot­ting a route to Wem­b­ley glory hav­ing nav­i­gated the east Lon­don club to their high­est ever points to­tal.

He said:“It’s im­por­tant to go into the play-offs with a bit of mo­men­tum and be­lief. It’s all about prepa­ra­tion and plan­ning which we’ve do­ing since we’ve known our fate.

“It’s a huge chal­lenge but one we de­serve. We’ve worked very hard this sea­son and want to progress to Wem­b­ley.Who­ever we meet we will be ready and wait­ing, and with the crowd be­hind us I’m sure we can progress.

“Plan­ning for the Cham­pi­onship is the only thing in my mind. We’ve even got a lit­tle poster of Churchill in my of­fice – it’s like my war room. Like Ley­ton Ori­ent,Win­ston was up against it as well. When we’re up against the odds we will over­come.”

The O’s were in con­trol from the early stages and dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion through­out the first half with­out re­ally cre­at­ing much.

Dean Cox went close af­ter four min­utes with an in­ven­tive ef­fort with the out­side of his right foot from the edge of the box which Owain fon Wil­liams did well to palm away low to his left.

But it was not un­til the 36th minute that an­other chance came when Shaun Batt burst through, only for his pow­er­ful ef­fort to hit the side netting.The hosts eventu- ally took the lead just be­fore the in­ter­val when Gary Sawyer’s header was blocked by fon Wil­liams, fall­ing to Lis­bie to slot home from close range for his 16th goal of the sea­son.

The O’s went close twice in quick suc­ces­sion af­ter the break, first with a Lis­bie ef­fort from a tight an­gle which was saved by fon Wil­liams af­ter be­ing put through by Cox.

Then on the hour Moses Odubajo forced fon Wil­liams into a stun­ning save down low to his right to tip a pow­er­ful ef­fort round the post at full stretch. Sub­sti­tute Dag­nall sealed the vic­tory with 13 min­utes to go in far­ci­cal cir­cum­stances as fon Wil­liams scuffed a clear­ance way out of his goal, al­low­ing the for­mer Rovers striker to fire home.

Tran­mere are now in se­ri­ous rel­e­ga­tion dan­ger hav­ing slipped into the drop zone with one game re­main­ing, and care­taker boss John McMa­hon ad­mits there is not much more he can do.

“We need to win now,” he said.“It’s out of our hands now but that’s the way it is. The same mis­takes have been hap­pen­ing all sea­son but all I can do is work on the things we need to.

“I can put the play­ers in the right po­si­tions but can I make them switch on? It’s down to in­di­vid­u­als. I’m not pass­ing the blame or pass­ing the buck but that’s the sit­u­a­tion we’re in. We haven’t

dealt with a lot of things.”

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