“It was all about trying to get the game done” – Colchester United’s John McGreal after the completion of the initially ‘abandoned game’ at Leyton Orient

The pitch invasion at Leyton Orient this afternoon, that delayed the finish of the match by two hour

The pitch invasion at Leyton Orient this afternoon, that delayed the finish of the match by two hours. Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

Colchester United boss John McGreal has given his reaction to today’s bizarre League Two match at Leyton Orient, which was initially abandoned after 84 minutes due to a pitch invasion by home fans, before the players returned to play the final few minutes, behind closed doors, two hours later.

The U’s were winning 3-1, through goals by Tarique Fosu, Chris Porter and Macauley Bonne, and that’s how it finished up when the match finally ended at 7pm.

The O’s players ended up retaining possession throughout those final few minutes, after the U’s had given them the ball back at the restart.

The U’s are now just one point adrift of the play-offs, with one match remaining at home to Yeovil next Saturday.

“It was all about just trying to get the game done,” explained McGreal.


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“We had to play, it all day, by the rules.

“Four days are set aside at the end of a season in case a game does get abandoned, so that is in place.

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“But when a game goes to this length of time (84 minutes), we don’t really want to be coming back in midweek to play five or so minutes plus stoppage time.

“It’s an added expense, and (manager) Omer (Riza) and his players and staff were brilliant.

“They wanted to get the game done as well, just to get it done regardless of what was at stake.

“We all want to play football and we all want to do what is right, and I think we have done that tonight by getting the game finished.

“Me and Omer came together, but it’s the players out there who took control about what’s gone on,” added McGreal

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