Both sides suffered defeats on the opening day of the league season, but their focus will now turn to the League Cup as Plymouth host the O’s at Home Park for the opening round. Here we preview Tuesday’s game:
[textmarker color=”043600″ type=”background color”]Plymouth Argyle[/textmarker]
Top scorer: Reuben Reid 21 League Two: 10th FA Cup: 3rd round League Cup: 1st round Cards: 53 Yellow 3 Red
After consecutive campaigns in which Plymouth finished 21st in League Two and narrowly avoided relegation by a point or two, last season was one of progress that saw the Pilgrims finish inside the top half.
In his first full-season in charge, John Sheridan’s side made a shaky start with just three wins in their opening 13 league games, but unbeaten sequences around the start of November and over the festive period saw Plymouth settle in mid-table at the turn of the year. Six wins in nine games from the start of February lifted Argyle to a season high of seventh place, but just one win in their last nine games saw them fall away from the play-offs, eventually finishing 11 points behind York who occupied the last play-off spot.
For Sheridan, the target is promotion to League One this term. Rueben Reid spent last season on loan at Home Park and finished the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 21 goals in all competitions. His arrival on a permanent basis over the summer should help Plymouth to challenge for promotion.
In: Lee Cox (Swindon Town), Peter Hartley (Stevenage), Dean Smalley (Oxford United), Kelvin Mellor (Crewe Alexandra), Carl McHugh (Bradford City), Oliver Norburn (Bristol Rovers), James Bittner (Salisbury City), Anthony O’Connor (Blackburn Rovers).
Out: Luke Young (Torquay United), Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Jake Cole (Woking), Romuald Boco (Chesterfield), Jamie Richards (Linfield, Loan), Maxime Blanchard, Matt Parsons, Neal Trotman, Isaac Vassell.
Plymouth made the trip to Cambridge for their opening game of the League Two season, but they returned home empty handed after suffering a 1-0 defeat against the newly promoted U’s.
The hosts were awarded a penalty after ten minutes as Carl McHugh was judged to handled the ball in the box, however Luke McCormick saved Adam Cunnington’s spot kick.
The only goal of the game came around the hour mark when Cambridge defender Josh Coulson headed home Ryan Donaldson’s corner.
Last lineup: McCormick, Mellor, Nelson, Hartley, McHugh, Alessandra (Thomas 82), Cox, Norburn (Blizzard 74), Banton (Morgan 70), Reid, Smalley
Plymouth boss John Sheridan has a no injury concerns in his squad. It it thought that the Pilgrims manager will name a strong side as they bid to get their season going following Saturday’s defeat.
There are concerns over the fitness of midfielder Dominic Blizzard, but he is expected to be included as a substitute.
Goalkeeper Luke McCormick returned to competitive action on Saturday for the first time since February after a spell on the sidelines due to injury.
[textmarker color=”DE0000″ type=”background color”]Leyton Orient[/textmarker]
Leyton Orient hosted League Two Champions Chesterfield on Saturday, and the Spireites left E10 with all three points.
Russell Slade handed full debuts to Adam Legzdins, Bradley Pritchard and Shane Lowry. Orient had started last term in such fantastic form, but the O’s were far off that level of performance as they made a poor start to the new campaign. They conceded after just seven minutes when Romuald Boco took advantage of some hesitant defending from the O’s. The home side improved as the half progressed, with good chances falling to David Mooney, Dean Cox and Kevin Lisbie, but they could not find the equalising goal.
After the break, Eoin Doyle snatched Chesterfield’s second goal on the counter, lobbing Legzdins from just outside the area. New signing Darius Henderson had a positive impact for the O’s from the bench with twenty minutes to go. He scored a debut goal by following up a Cox free-kick to reduce the deficit, but Orient failed to get the vital second goal that would have seen them draw level.
After the match, Russell Slade spoke of the need for his side to improve in all areas and he will be keen to ensure that that process begins against Plymouth.
Leyton Orient could be without Scott Cuthbert and Chris Dagnall again after the duo missed the first game of the season on Saturday.
Jay Simpson, Jobi McAnuff and Darius Henderson were only used as substitutes against Chesterfield due to a lack of match fitness, however Tuesday night’s game could provide the perfect opportunity for those players to get some more game time.
Gary Woods could also be given a chance to stake his claim to become Orient’s first choice goalkeeper, while the likes of Marvin Bartley, Shaun Batt and Gary Sawyer may also be given an opportunity to show what they can offer.
Russell Slade rarely makes wholesale changes for cup matches, but with a bigger squad to manage he may opt to rotate his side more than he has done in previous seasons.
Gary Saywer began his career with Plymouth, making his debut for the club in August 2006. He made 106 appearances for the Pilgrims before joining Bristol Rovers in June 2010. Sawyer was named as Plymouth’s Young Player of the Season for the 2006/07 season.
Shane Lowry had a three-month loan spell at Home Park in 2009, playing 13 games for the Pilgrims.
Plymouth Argyle and Leyton Orient haven’t played each other since the Pilgrims were in League One. Their last meeting was in the final game of 2010/11 season, and the O’s won convincingly by four goals to one. Scott McGleish got the O’s off to a strong start, scoring from the spot after 13 minutes, before Dean Cox added a second goal two minutes later. Yannick Bolaise pulled a goal back around the hour mark, but Plymouth were soon reduced to ten men when their goalkeeper Romain Larrieu was sent off . Alex Revell then sealed the win with a brace in the last fifteen minutes.
The Pilgrims’ only win over the O’s in the last seven matches between the sides was in March 2002. Plymouth claimed a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Ian Stonebridge, Graham Coughlan and Micky Evans.
The two teams have never met in the League Cup before. Their only cup fixture was an FA Cup tie in January 1956 which Orient won 1-0.