O's left-back describes overwhelming and great feeling at full time whistle
PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 April 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
The 30-year-old has been dubbed 'Mr Consistent' this season and deserves this National League title win
Leyton Orient left-back Joe Widdowson hailed the togetherness and unity of the squad after promotion back to the Football League was secured on Saturday.
The O's only needed a point to clinch the National League title and played out a goalless draw at home to Braintree Town in front of 8,241 fans.
It was the biggest crowd at Orient since the League One play-off semi-final victory over Peterborough United in 2014 and wonderful scenes occurred at full time.
Players were lofted up into the air by supporters and this pitch invasion was one of joy, not anger and hatred like the previous one back on April 29 2017 at home to Colchester United in League Two.
For Widdowson, 30, the first silverware of his career was extra sweet, he said: “This is massive and huge. For me personally it is the first time I have ever been promoted so it's an unbelievable feeling.
“I have had many relegation scraps and normally at this stage I have been fighting for survival, so to win a league title is a great feeling.
“Without stating it at the start of the campaign, it was always our intention to try and get promoted and massive credit has to go to all the players, staff and the fans.
“I feel like we have been united and together for the whole season and it was great to cap it with promotion.”
The game itself was one to forget, but Orient appeared to know from the off they didn't need to take any risks.
Jobi McAnuff went closest in the first half, but his effort was bravely blocked by Kodi Lyons-Foster and it stayed 0-0 at the interval.
O's had the ball in the net by the hour mark, yet those celebrations were cut short as Macauley Bonne was offside.
By this point, Hartlepool United had equalised against Salford City and Orient were now ever so close.
It ensured they had a pretty relaxed end to the encounter and although they couldn't sign the league campaign off with a win, those celebrations were the perfect finale.
Widdowson added: “It was really overwhelming to be honest because I didn't even have a second to think and then I was being rushed by loads of people, but it was great.
“Once the final whistle went it was crazy, but it was brilliant to see the delight on all the fans faces and you could see how much it meant to them.
“Without going into all the stuff which went on previously, you can see what it meant to the supporters to have their club back in the Football League and how pleased they are with the situation and how things are going now. It was a great day.”