FA Trophy final: Leyton Orient forward Macauley Bonne talks goals and lining up against Mo Salah at the Africa Cup of Nations

17 May

Macauley Bonne will fulfil a lifelong dream should he find the back of the net this weekend.

For many, the showpiece FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford is viewed as the only competitive football on show over the next few days, but Wembley will open its doors once again on Sunday for Non-League Finals day, where Leyton Orient take on AFC Fylde in the FA Trophy, live on talkSPORT 2.

Macauley Bonne is on 49 goals for Orient this season

The final not only presents Orient with an excellent opportunity to take a second piece of silverware back to east London this season, having already been crowned National League champions, but also provides the club’s supporters with a fitting day out on the big stage, something which is richly deserved after a somewhat turbulent few years off the pitch.

Prior to Nigel Travis and Kent Teague’s takeover in 2017, Orient were in the High Court just days after being relegated from the Football League for the first time in 112 years, with many supporters questioning whether they’d even have a club left to support under the ownership of Francesco Becchetti.

But the feel good factor has certainly returned to the Breyer Group Stadium, with Orient back in League 2 after a two-year spell away, and Bonne has certainly played his role in the O’s success on the pitch.

The 23-year-old striker has been Orient’s top scorer in the last two seasons and with 49 goals to his name, the former Colchester United man can’t think of a better way to mark his half century by netting at Wembley.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s FA Trophy final, Bonne told talkSPORT: “I’ve got one more goal to get until I get my 50th goal for Orient. I think that will be the best place to do it. I’m ready.”

“I’m a striker so I want to score goals. If it means scoring an absolute worldie or a little tap in, it doesn’t matter as they all count. Boys dream of scoring at Wembley and for me, the fact that I could go there and leave with a goal, I’d be the happiest boy on the planet.

“To come from winning the Conference and getting promoted, now to have the chance of walking out at Wembley in the same season is a big achievement for us. We’re all really excited for it.”

Success in the FA Trophy could kickstart a dream summer off the pitch for Bonne, who has been included in Zimbabwe’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations this summer.

Bonne doesn’t care what type of goal it is, he is just keen to reach no.50 for the season

From playing at Halifax and Boreham Wood this campaign, representing his nation at a major tournament would be a real coming of age for the 23-year-old, who had yet to find his feet in the professional game prior to moving to east London.

Should he feature, Bonne will line up against Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in Zimbabwe’s first game of the tournament, but the young striker is not fazed by the challenge.

He said: “It’s world football now. I’m going to be playing against some of the best players in the world now and I’m excited. I’m itching to go now.”

“When you’re on the pitch, they’re just a name to you. I’ve played against some big players. On the pitch you just see them as another footballer but after, I will have my big fan moment.”

Bonne will play for Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations this summer

Orient and Bonne’s relationship has fitted like a glove since the former Ipswich Town trainee moved to the Breyer Group Stadium in 2017.

Both were in need of redemption; for Orient, they needed to rebuild and return to their former glory, while Bonne needed a chance to prove himself as a natural goal scorer after failing to get a run of games for Colchester.

The move has since worked a treat, with Bonne’s goals, coupled with the team spirit in the dressing room, led by veteran Jobi McAnuff, and Justin Edinburgh’s leadership, guiding the O’s back to the promised land of the Football League.

A 0-0 draw with Braintree Town on the final day of the season secured the National League title, queuing wild celebrations from both players and supporters long into the night.

Orient topped the National League, winning it by three points

Unsurprisingly, Bonne’s form in his two campaigns at Brisbane Road has seen him linked with League One and Championship clubs, as well as former Premier League champions Leicester City.

But now at a place where he is truly appreciated, Bonne has no intentions of moving on and instead has his sights set on firing Orient to a second promotion in successive seasons.

“[Winning the National League,] is my highest moment so far. I’ve never been in a promotion winning team. I’ve always been fighting relegations. To come here and get promoted back into the League in my second season, it’s the highest moment in my career so far.”

“I took a step down out of the league to prove that I could play minutes and score goals. Now we’re back in the Football League, it’s my chance to show everyone, especially at Colchester, what I can do back in the Football League. I hoped they would have given me more of a chance but that’s football; it doesn’t go the way you always want it to go.

The FA Trophy is the prize on offer when Orient and Fylde meet at Wembley – live on talkSPORT 2 on Sunday

“I can’t thank everyone at Orient enough for doing that for me. Now I can show everyone in League Two what I can do hopefully.

“Where else would I want to be? I’m the main man at the minute. My eyes aren’t being wondered whatsoever.

“It’s exciting to see what we can do in League Two. You’ve seen the likes of Tranmere, Forest Green who have come up from the Conference and are fighting for promotion to League One. I’d say we’re just as good or even better than some of the teams in there. I see us doing that next season if we all stick together.”

AFC Fylde vs Leyton Orient is live on talkSPORT 2 on Sunday 19 May at 16:15

FA investigating after Fylde players attacked on pitch by Stockport fans during FA Trophy clash

24 Mar

The Football Association are investigating footage which shows two Stockport fans confronting AFC Fylde players during Saturday’s FA Trophy clash at Edgeley Park.

Alex Reid struck an 89th minute winner to send the National League side to Wembley, where they will face Leyton Orient, but his Fylde team-mates were accosted during their celebrations.

The Fylde players celebrated Reid’s winner in front of the Stockport fans, with one furious supporter entering the field of play to confront Arlen Birch, before Zaina Francis-Angol and Fylde captain Neill Byrne attempted to deal with the situation by shoving him away.

Stockport’s Frank Mulhern then grabbed the pitch invader as he tried to make his way back to the stands, before stewards intervened.

The incident can be seen in the video below, starting at 10 minutes 10 seconds.

Furthermore, Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite was allegedly threatened in the directors box as he celebrated his side’s winning goal, The Sun report.

Fylde manager Dave Challinor said: “It just shows how big an effect football all over this country has.

“You have one idiot who runs on at Birmingham and all of a sudden now everyone thinks it’s clever to do it.

The man got onto the pitch after Reid’s winning goal
He confronted the Fylde players before stewards intervened

“It’s wrong, it really is. What you can’t do is say that’s synonymous of all their fans, it’s not it’s just some idiot running on the pitch.

“It’s dangerous, really dangerous, but people just need to self-police. If someone wants to go on the pitch no matter how many police or stewards you have you aren’t going to stop them.

“But we don’t want to go back to where it was 15 or 20 years ago in this country where people are behind fences.”

The FA are now investigating the footage and may punish Stockport for the supporters’ behaviour.

This incident comes only a couple of weeks after Jack Grealish was assaulted on the pitch by a Birmingham City supporter.

Paul Mitchell was jailed for assaulting Grealish

An Arsenal fan also invaded the Emirate Stadium pitch and shoved Manchester United’s Chris Smalling later that same day.

Paul Mitchell was named as the man who attacked Grealish, and he was jailed for 14 weeks after pleading guilty to assault and illegally entering the field of play.

He was also banned from football for 10 years, while Birmingham City handed him a lifetime ban.

FA Trophy first round draw: Leyton Orient to host Beaconsfield Town as National League clubs join competition

26 Nov

National League leaders Leyton Orient will host Beaconsfield Town in the first round of the FA Trophy.

The competition, which was won by Brackley Town on penalties last season, is for teams playing at levels 1-4 in the National League System, which are tiers 5-8 in the overall English football league system.

Brackley enjoyed their trip to Wembley last season

Beaconsfield, who will visit Brisbane Road, play in the Southern League Premier Division, and they’ve already come through three qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper, defeating Leiston 3-1 to book their trip to London.

The full draw was made LIVE on talkSPORT 2, and you can see it below…

FA Trophy first round draw in full

(Northern section)

AFC Telford United vs Farsley Celtic

Altrincham Town vs Stockport County

Spennymoor Town vs Stamford or Barwell

Workington vs Pickering Town or Ramsbottom United

Leamington vs Hartlepool United

Harrogate Town vs York City

Barrow vs Halifax Town

Wrexham vs Boston United

Chesterfield vs Basford United

Salford City vs Gateshead

AFC Fylde vs Stratford Town

Lancaster City or Guiseley vs Blyth Spartans

Southport or Chester vs Solihull Moors

(Southern section)

Eastbourne Borough or Dartford vs Dorchester Town

Weymouth or St Albans City vs Royston Town or Needham Market

Brackley Town vs Hayes & Yeading or Brightlingsea Regent

Leyton Orient vs Beaconsfield Town

Boreham Wood vs Torquay United

Salisbury vs Braintree Town

Truro City vs Weston-super-Mare

Bromley vs Sutton United

Barnet vs Bath City

Ebbsfleet United vs Dagenham & Redbridge

Woking vs Maidstone United

Dover Athletic vs Havant & Waterlooville

Lewes or Hemel Hempstead Town vs Eastleigh

Carshalton Athletic vs Dorking Wanderers

Aldershot Town vs Bedford Town

Hereford vs Billericay Town

Maidenhead United vs Oxford City

Biggleswade Town vs Wealdstone

Chippenham Town or Wingate & Finchley vs Welling United or Dulwich Hamlet