Both sides go into Saturday’s game out of form and at the wrong end of the league table, however they were both boosted by victories in the JPT in midweek. Here we preview this weekend’s game:
[textmarker color=”2110C2″ type=”background color”]Gillingham[/textmarker]
Top scorer: Cody McDonald 17 League One: 17th FA Cup: 1st Round League Cup: 1st Round
Survival was the primary objective last season as Gillingham returned to the third tier after three seasons in League Two. The Gills made a poor start under Martin Allen as they won just two of their first 11 league games. Following Allen’s departure in October, Peter Taylor returned to the club for a second spell. He managed to gradually steer the Gills away from the drop zone and they were in mid-table by February, however his side were prone to lapses in form which saw them slip back into the bottom of the table.
Nevertheless Peter Taylor kept the Gills in the division, leading them to a 17th place finish, six points above the relegation places.
[tabs title1=”IN” text1=”Luke Norris (Brentford, Undisclosed), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Doug Loft (Port Vale), Aaron Morris (AFC Wimbledon), Jermaine McGlashan (Cheltenham Town), Glenn Morris (Aldershot), Josh Pritchard (Fulham), Ben Dickenson (Brighton & Hove Albion), John Egan (Sunderland), Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers, Loan), Stephen Bywater (Millwall, Loan), Adam Chicksen (Brighton, Loan)” tabs title2=”OUT” text2=”Adebayo Akinfenwa (AFC Wimbledon), Adam Birchall (Bromley), Harry Grant (Bromley), Sam Muggleton (Barnet), Myles Weston (Southend United), Stephen Butcher (Maidstone United), Chris Whelpdale (Stevenage), Adam Barrett (AFC Wimbledon), Sam Baxter, George Howard, Gary Borrowdale, Joe Carter, Craig Fagan, Steven Gregory, Charlie Lee, Nathan Nyafli.” ]
Top scorer: Danny Kedwell, Cody McDonald 5 League One: 22nd FA Cup: 1st Round League Cup: 2nd Round
Gillingham have made another slow start in League One, losing three of their first six games. They managed to avoid defeat in three consecutive league games in September, beating Peterborough in between draws with Oldham and Walsall. However since then they have really struggled with five defeats and two draws in their last seven league games.
On Tuesday night the Gills managed to end their poor run by beating Crawley Town in the JPT. Gillingham claimed a 2-1 win despite being reduced to ten men in the second half. Mid-way through the first half Gwion Edwards was brought down in the box by Jake Hessenthaler and the referee Darren Sheldrake pointed to the spot. Izale McLeod stepped up and coolly stroked the ball into Stuart Nelson’s net from 12 yards.
Shortly after the hour mark Joe Martin was sent-off after an off-the-ball incident with McLeod. However, Gillingham still managed to come from behind to book their place in the southern section semi-final. The equaliser came when Jermaine McGlashan won the ball on the right and cut inside, before guiding the ball into the far corner. Then, three minutes from time Doug Loft’s deep cross found its way into the Crawley net as the bounce of the ball caught out Jamie Ashdown.
Nelson, Fish (Dack 45′), Egan, Legge, Martin, Loft, Hessenthaler, Doughty, Dickenson, Norris (McGlashan 45′), German (Kedwell 74′).
G Morris, Hoyte, Dack, McGlashan, Kedwell
Gillingham will be without left-back Joe Martin as he begins his three-match ban following his dismissal on Tuesday night. Adam Chicksen arrived on loan from Brighton this week and he is eligible to play on Saturday, therefore he could replace Martin in the starting lineup.
Callum Davies may miss out due to injury. Aaron Morris will be on the sidelines due to a hamstring problem.
However, Gills boss Peter Taylor may have Amine Linganzi available to him as the midfielder is thought to be close to a return from a hamstring injury. Cody McDonald is likely to return to the side to face the O’s. Taylor chose to rest the striker for the JPT tie against Crawley.
Goalkeeper, Stuart Nelson spent the 2007/08 season at Brisbane Road, making 33 appearances in an Orient shirt.
Adam Barrett started his career with the O’s, but he joined Plymouth in February 1999 without making a senior appearance. In March 2011, the central defender returned to Brisbane Road on loan from Crystal Palace. He made 14 appearances. He is currently on loan at AFC Wimbledon.
Glenn Morris began his career with Orient and he spent nine years at the club. He made his senior debut against Dagenham & Redbridge in October 2001 and he went on to make 15o appearances for the O’s, before leaving in July 2010. He joined Gillingham back in May.
Adam Chicksen spent a month on loan with the O’s in January 2012, making 3 appearances.
[textmarker color=”DB0404″ type=”background color”]Leyton Orient[/textmarker]
On Tuesday night Orient claimed their first home win of the season as they defeated League Two opponents Northampton Town to progress to the southern section semi-finals of the JPT.
Orient held a one-goal lead at the break thanks to Jay Simpson’s sixth goal of the season. Chris Dagnall played the former Arsenal striker through on goal with a neat pass between the Northampton centre-backs. Simpson used his pace before slotting the ball past Matt Duke and into the net.
Northampton’s best chance to equalise came after the break when Kaid Mohamed headed just wide of the Orient goal.
Dagnall had had some good opportunities to grab a goal for himself and although he failed to find the net, he did manage to claim a second assist. Late on, Dagnall laid the ball off to Marvin Bartley who picked out the far bottom corner of the net with a side-footed finish from the edge of the area, sealing Orient’s first win at Brisbane Road since May.
The victory will have given the O’s some much-needed confidence. Orient are without a win in their last three league games.
Jay Simpson is the latest injury concern for the O’s as he picked up a knock while scoring the opening goal on Tuesday night. However, Mauro Milanese appears to be confident that striker will be available for Saturday’s game.
Darius Henderson missed the JPT tie against Northampton and he is set to face a couple of weeks on the sidelines due to a foot injury. Meanwhile, Jobi McAnuff is still on international duty with Jamaica.
In his first interview Dossena suggested he could be fit for Saturday’s game, but the O’s still need international clearance before they can give him his debut.
Jack Price has returned to Brisbane Road after recovering from his ankle injury, however he has been suffering with an illness this week.
Orient will continue to be without Romain Vincelot (knee), David Mooney (ankle), Kevin Lisbie (shoulder) and Lloyd James (broken leg).
However, players have returned to action in recent weeks and as a result Mauro Milanese will have some decisions to make.
Adam Legzdins was back in action against the Cobblers, keeping a clean sheet and he will now compete with Gary Woods for the goalkeeping spot.
On Tuesday night Scott Cuthbert and Mathieu Baudry were rested, but with six (possibly seven if Dossena is available) defenders fit for the weekend the Orient boss won’t be short of defensive options on Saturday. Cuthbert seems likely to go straight back into the side.
In midfield, Bradley Pritchard could continue on the right flank, while Price, Bartley and Wright will be vying for a central midfield spot.
Gianvito Plasmati recovered from a knee injury take a place on the bench against Northampton, but Dagnall and Simpson combined well last time out so the Italian may have to wait for his chance.
At the end of the 1998/99 season Kevin Lisbie joined Gillingham on loan from Charlton. The striker scored four goals in four starts and three substitute appearances.
Romain Vincelot had a loan spell at the Priestfield Stadium. He scored the winning goal against AFC Wimbledon on his debut and he went on to play in another ten games before returning to his parent club Brighton.
Josh Wright had a loan spell at Gillingham in March 2009, playing eight games as the Gills won the League Two play-offs.
In January 2004 Gillingham signed Darius Henderson. He scored 10 goals in 39 games during his year-and-a-half spell at the club.
Orient and Gillingham played each other three times last season and the O’s were victorious on all three occasions.
They first met in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in September and Orient claimed a comfortable 1-3 win over the Gills thanks to a hat-trick from Shaun Batt. Batt converted a 26th minute penalty, before doubling his and Orient’s tally in first half stoppage time. The ex-Millwall man then completed his hat-trick on the hour from a counter-attack. Bradley Dack pulled a goal back for the hosts ten minutes later, but it was too late for Gillingham to mount a comeback.
Orient made the rip to the Priestfield Stadium again on Boxing Day. Adebayo Akinfenwa gave the home side the lead after just four minutes as he headed home from a corner. Orient were awarded a penalty after Lisbie was brought down in the box, but Omozusi’s spot kick was saved by Stuart Nelson. However the O’s staged a comeback in the last twenty minutes to claim a victory. First Marvin Bartley equalised from a corner, then Yohann Lasimant headed in a last-minute winner.
When Gillingham travelled to Brisbane Road in April they were well beaten. David Mooney scored the opener five minutes into the game. Then Dean Cox doubled Orient’s lead four minutes later as he fired home from just outside the area, finishing off a fine team goal. The O’s then grabbed two more in quick succession. Lisbie headed in a Moses Odubajo cross from close range, then Lisbie turned provider, stealing the ball almost straight from kick-off, before supplying Mooney for his second of the game. Deep into the second half Chris Dagnall made it 5-0 as he found the corner of the net from the edge of the box. Eight minutes from time Craig Fagan scored a consolation goal on a bad day at the office for the Gills.
The last time Gillingham defeated the O’s at home was in October 2007. A brace from David Graham and a Barry Cogan strike put the Gills three goals ahead. Jabo Ibehre then grabbed a consolation goal for the away side with just under twenty minutes left.
Before last season, Orient’s last away win at Gillingham in the league was in October 1969. The O’s won by one goal to nil.
[textmarker color=”000000″ type=”background color”]Match Officials[/textmarker]
Referee: Darren Deadman
Assistants: Andrew Laver and Dean Treleaven
Fourth Official: Nicholas Cooper
Priestfield Stadium Post Code: ME7 4DD