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AFC Telford 1 Leyton Orient 2 - Report and pictures

Ten man Leyton Orient proved just one step too far for battling AFC Telford United who missed out on a Wembley appearance at the final hurdle.

The Bucks were in the FA Trophy tie throughout and went into it full of optimism after just a narrow defeat at Brisbane Road.

But disaster struck after just six minutes as a defensive mix up allowed Matt Harrold to give Orient an early lead.

Harrold saw red soon after and Telford had the wind back in their sails before the break, and when Ellis Deeney lashed home from 25 yards it was game on once more.

The second half saw Telford have their opponents on the ropes at times, but when Orient had a chance to kill the game they did.

A free kick dropped for Josh Coulson in the box and he looped a header over the keeper and into the net.

It was a cruel blow for Telford, who were so close to a Wembley after a 30 year wait.

The wait goes on though, but on that display and the season as a whole it won't be long before Telford are back battling for success.

The Bucks boss tinkered with his side from the one that got a credible result at Brisbane Road seven days ago.

Key man Ellis Deeney returned from suspension in place of Steph Morley, who missed out after being forced off with an injury just 19 minutes into the first leg.

And Brendon Daniels, who impressed off the bench last week, came in to replace Darryl Knights.

The atmosphere inside the New Bucks Head ahead of kick off was electric with fans coming through the turnstiles up to two hours before the game.

The scene was all set. Telford fans had not seen a day like this for many a year.

Win or lose, they were back amongst the non-league big time and the occasion with a packed out crowd would hopefully be a sign of thing to come well into the future.

Down to business and the first goal was crucial. Just two minutes in and the Bucks almost got it.

Daniels looped a corner to the back post and skipper Shane Sutton's header was fumbled by the keeper Dean Brill, with the ball rolling onto the post before being smothered.

An early goal would have taken the roof off, however minutes later and the ground was silent all bar one end.

A routine ball over the top looked to be heading back to Andy Wycherley, but as he advanced off his line disaster struck.

Ross White, under pressure from striker Matt Harrold headed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper, and the former Shrewsbury striker had the easiest of tap ins.

It was a ground swallow me up moment for the pair, with Orient yet to have troubled Telford up to that point.

A line was drawn and Telford went about settling in the game.

Daniels fired in a few dangerous set pieces, but down the other end Jamie Turley was denied by the cross bar from a header with Orient looking dangerous from corners.

Harrold proved a handful for the Bucks last week, and left a couple of defenders on the deck with his physical approach.

26 minutes into this one his physical approach cost him and led to Orient going a man down.

The striker went up for a ball with Sutton, and the latter was left on the floor with Bucks players calling for a red.

Referee Peter Wright wasted no time in marching over to the forward and giving him a straight red card, having adjudged him to have struck Sutton with what looked like an elbow.

The tide momentarily turned as the Bucks went in search of a goal to getting back in the tie.

Ryan Barnett cut in and forced Brill to fumble his shot wide, with the dangerous Sutton powering a header.

But despite having the ten men Orient always had a threat going forward, especially Turley who again went close with a header from a corner.

Telford's goal scoring machine Daniel Udoh hadn't had a look in really at Brisbane Road last week, but when he got his sight of goal this week he almost found the net.

James McQuilkin laid it off for the striker who struck the post from 18 yards, with the ball cannoning back out.

The chance wasn't gone though as Telford recycled the move and Deeney lashed in a low driven shot from 25 yards, that caught the keeper cold and beat him at the near post.

The roof went off the New Bucks Head and it was very much game on again.

It showed out vital Deeney is to the Bucks and how they missed him in the first leg. He controls the tempo of the game, slows it down and he has that in his locker.

It almost got even better before the break when Daniels stung the palms of Brill, who gathered it at the second attempt.

Then in the final minute of stoppage time, Wycherley was called into action as he produced a superb one handed save to tip Jobi McAnuff's half volley over the bar.

The first goal in the second half was crucial, because if Justin Edinburgh's men got it then even the most optimistic Telford fan would probably concede the tie was probably gone.

However seconds in and the Bucks had a chance to draw level.

Orient hadn't switched on and Udoh slid in McQuilkin, who instead of hitting it first time took a touch and saw the chance go begging.

But the Bucks had come firing out of the traps, probably after a rousing Cowan team talk.

Udoh had a shot gathered and Sutton saw a header saved, with Telford spraying it around and enjoying their best spell of possession and pressure in the whole tie.

Telford were getting into dangerous areas but nothing was really coming off for them in front of goal.

Not one to hang around, boss Cowan went for broke throwing on Andre Brown and Darryl Knights in a bid to keep the Wembley dream alive.

With 20 minutes left though the dream was almost killed off.

Orient had been made to defend for the entire second half, but they managed to break with James Brophy pulling the ball back for Macauley Bonne on the edge of the box.

However last week's goalscorer fluffed his lines and skewed his effort wide.

Orient were top of the National League for a reason and despite having ten men, they began to get some momentum back after that chance.

When they got back on top it didn't take them long to find the goal that all but finished off the tie.

McAnuff's free kick to the back post was kept alive by Marvin Ekpiteta, and Coulson met the ball to loop a header over the stranded Wycherley and in.

It was a cruel blow for the Bucks, but Orient showed that they could ramp it up a gear to get the job done.

Brophy lashed over moments later with Orient looking good for another, but Cowan's Bucks were not done fighting.

White fired in a low cross and somehow Amari Morgan-Smith's effort from just yards out deflected up, with Ekpiteta heading off the line.

The Bucks did push to keep it alive at the end, but as the game wore on the experience of Orient showed as they saw out the tie.

It was so near for the Bucks who pushed their National League superiors all the way in this one.

The Wembley dream is over for another year but the Bucks can look back on their FA Trophy exploits with nothing but pride.

KEY MOMENTS

2 - OFF THE POST - Less than a minute in an the Bucks get a corner that almost leads to an opener. Daniels fizzes it in and Sutton's header is spilled, with the ball rolling onto the post before he eventually gathers.

6 - ORIENT LEAD - Orient's first sniff at goal and it is a calamity error from the Bucks that leads to it. A bouncing ball looks to be routine for White to nod back to Wycherley. But under pressure the defender does so with Wycherley racing off his line. The header loops over him, and Harrold taps into an empty net.

19 - CROSSBAR - Skipper McAnuff curls a corner to the back post and Turley meets it, with the defender's header bouncing over off the cross bar.

26 - RED CARD - The O's may be one up but they're down to ten men. Sutton and Harrold go up for a ball, with the former crashing to the ground. Bucks players claim an elbow, and that referee marches straight over and produces the red card.

29 - SPILLED - Barnett switches to the left flank to get some joy, and cuts inside before firing in a low shot that is spilled by Brill and goes for a corner.

39 - BUCKS GO CLOSE - Daniels dinks one into Udoh, and he gets it back from McQuilkin before his left footed effort from 18 yards comes back off the post.

39 - GOAL BUCKS - In the same passage of play it comes to Deeney and he hits it like a rocket from 25 yards catching Brill cold and sneaking it in at the near post. The roof goes off the New Bucks Head. Tie alive once more!

45 - ANOTHER SPILL - Brill with another spill. Morgan-Smith drops it off and Daniels powers forward with the keeper dropping his dipping effort but gathering at the second attempt.

45 - TOP SAVE - A bouncing ball drops kindly for McAnuff whose half volley his heading in the top corner but Wycherley throws himself across his goal and denies him with a superb one handed save.

46 - ALMOST LEVEL - Just seconds into the half and the Bucks have a golden chance to take the lead. Orient had not switched on and Udoh slipped in the unmarked McQuilkin. He chose to take a touch though instead of hitting it first time, and saw the chance go begging.

72 - BIG MISS - Orient break for the first time in the half and it should be over. Brophy cuts it back to the edge of the area for Bonne who looks to have found the corner but it goes wide.

78 - GOAL ORIENT - Orient get back in front and that looks to be the tie done. McAnuff swings it into the back post, with Ekpiteta's header keeping it alive. Coulson meets it and loops a header over the stranded Wycherley and in.

TEAMS

AFC Telford United (3-5-2) - Wycherley, White, Sutton, Streete (Smith 90+3), McQuilkin (Brown 72), Royle (Knights 58), Deeney, Daniels, Barnett, Udoh, Morgan-Smith

Subs not used - Martinez, Barnes-Homer

Leyton Orient (3-5-2) - Brill, Turley, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, McAnuff, Clay, Koroma (Brophy 65), Harrold, Bonne (Alabi (90+3)

Subs not used - Sargeant, Gorman, Lee,

Attendance - 3,478

Referee - Peter Wright

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