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Leyton Orient fan's view: Wembley is no place for losers
Sunday’s trip down Wembley Way could be a once-in-a-lifetime for many of us including some of the players.
It will have been almost a fortnight since that epic Peterborough play-off, second leg, had passed and hopefully any bumps, strains or bruises will have cleared up in time to give the gaffer a fully fit squad to pick from.
Possibly though any advantage gained by playing our semi-final tie two days before Rotherham went through will have been negated by the fact the Millers will have had a good ten days to recuperate.
The bookies will no doubt have been expecting Preston to go through and face us especially after Garner’s first-leg wonder goal but the Millers proved too strong at the New York Stadium and it will be the case of ‘who dares wins’.
I am positive there will be plenty of goals, thereby making the final the sort of showcase a large Wembley crowd will be wanting more than anything but hopefully with the east Londoners edging the contest.
However, many O’s fans present on Sunday will have been to the 1999 and 2001 finals against Scunthorpe and Blackpool, respectively.
The former was one of those days when we never got going after Alex Calvo-Garcia had got the Iron’s noses in front, and as Orient legend, Tommy Taylor, alluded in the Peterborough play-off semi-final matchday magazine interview, when we travelled to Cardiff two years later, he was struggling for strikers.
Despite a surprise early Chris Tate opener and a Scott Houghton screamer, that game will always be remembered for Jabo Ibehre hitting a post soon after the interval. A case of what might have been.
But, the O’s go into this showdown in fine form and fettle and hopefully with no shortage of striking options, with more or less everyone in the squad having contributed to the goals ‘for’ tally either by netting or assists over this memorable season.
The manager - I am sure - will stress the importance of this match and the prize awaiting the winners. It will therefore be a case of not letting this day and occasion passing the O’s by and our heroes finishing the job. Wembley is no place for losers.
May the best team win.
Up the O’s,
Keep the faith.
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