Last weekend’s defeat saw the O’s slip into the relegation zone and this weekend’s clash against fellow bottom-four side Crewe is now of even greater importance as defeat could see Orient drop to the foot of the table. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
[textmarker color=”DB0404″ type=”background color”]Leyton Orient[/textmarker]
Last time out Leyton Orient suffered defeat against ten-man Gillingham, as they paid the price for failing to defend set pieces.
On a wet afternoon at the Priestfield, the O’s fans were drenched as they endured the roof-less Brian Moore Stand and to make matters worse Orient’s first half performance was less than inspiring. Gillingham had an opportunity to take the lead when Scott Cuthbert was judged to have tripped Adam Chicksen inside the penalty area. Danny Kedwell tried his luck from 12 yards but Adam Legzdins guessed correctly and made the save.
Just after the interval Orient were awarded a penalty of their own. John Egan fouled Josh Wright in the box and Gianvito Plasmati converted from the spot to record his first Orient goal. However, the hosts equalised soon after when Leon Legge headed home from a free-kick. Orient had clearly failed to learn their lesson as they conceded a second goal that was almost exactly the same as the first.
Orient were lifted by the dismissal of Michael Doughty two minutes later and the visitors’ pressure eventually led to an equaliser. Chris Dagnall headed in a Scott Cuthbert cross in injury time. However there was more late drama when Cody McDonald scored from a corner in the 98th minute.
In light of that defeat to fellow strugglers Gillingham, Mauro Milanese has stressed the importance of Saturday’s game against Crewe who are in a similar position. Orient have won just one of their last six games and they have now gone four games without a victory in the league.
Jay Simpson and Shane Lowry are the latest injury concerns within the Orient squad as both players had to be substituted against the Gills last weekend. Simpson had picked up a knock in the previous week against Northampton and he lasted 39 minutes at the Priestfield Stadium before coming off due to a hamstring injury, while Lowry was forced off with twenty minutes remaining due to a calf problem. Both players will be monitored before Saturday’s game.
David Mooney returned from his ankle injury as Simpson’s replacement last Saturday, but he was not the only player back in action. Romain Vincelot was a surprise inclusion in the starting linuep against Gillingham. The Frenchman had been on the sidelines for almost a month due to a knee injury.
Jobi McAnuff has returned to Leyton Orient as a Caribbean Cup winner, but he is not expected to be included in the squad to face Crewe as he featured in all four of Jamaica’s matches. McAnuff scored a penalty in the shoot-out in the final against Trinidad & Tobago and he was named in the team of the tournament.
Jack Price is back in contention after missing the last game due to illness.Darius Henderson (foot), Kevin Lisbie (shoulder) and Lloyd James (broken leg) are still in the treatment room.
Adam Legzdins will again compete with Gary Woods for the goalkeeping spot. In front of them, Andrea Dossena will be hoping to keep his place at left back after making his debut at the Priestfield. If Lowry is not deemed to be fit enough to feature he is likely to be replaced by Mathieu Baudry. Milanese could opt to make further changes to his defence, with Elliot Omozui and Gary Sawyer also available.
The Orient boss has plenty of options in central midfield too with Marvin Bartely, Romain Vincelot, Jack Price, Josh Wright and Bradley Pritchard all vying for starting roles. However, Pritchard could be included on the right wing again if he is preferred to Shaun Batt.
Up front Milanese started Gianvito Plasmati last week and he could well keep his place. Mooney seems the more likely candidate to replace Simpson if he is ruled out, however Chis Dagnall strengthened his case for a starting berth by scoring against Gillingham.
Adam Legzdins joined Crewe in the summer of 2008, however he made just 8 appearances in total for the Railwaymen. In May 2010, he was offered a new one-year deal to stay on at Gresty Road, but he rejected the contract, instead opting to join Burton Albion.
[textmarker color=”040333″ type=”background color”]Crewe Alexandra[/textmarker]
Top scorer: Chuks Aneke 16 League One: 19th FA Cup: 1st Round League Cup: 1st Round
Last term Crewe managed to avoid the drop by four points as they finished in 19th place on 51 points.
The Alex spent much of the 2013/14 season at the wrong end of the table and they were in the relegation zone going into the final five games of the season. They suffered defeat to Wolves which left them in 22nd place, but they managed to avoid defeat in their last four games. The Railwaymen claimed three vital points against their relegation rivals Shrewsbury, then drew with Colchester and Bristol City before beating Preston North End on the final day.
[tabs title1=”IN” text1=”Scott Shearer (Rotherham United), Marcus Haber (Stevenage), Greg Leigh (Manchester City, Loan), Jamie Ness (Stoke City, Loan).” tabs title2=”OUT” text2=”Mark Ellis (Shrewsbury Town), Kelvin Mellor (Plymouth Argyle), AJ Leitch-Smith (Yeovil Town), Byron Moore (Port Vale), Dominic Smith (Colchester United), Steve Phillips (Nantwich Town), Abdul Osman (Partick Thistle).” ]
Top scorer: Marcus Haber 4 League One: 23rd FA Cup: 1st Round League Cup: 2nd Round
Crewe Alexandra have really struggled so far this season. They find themselves second from bottom with 15 points from 17 games. The Railwaymen started the new league campaign with nine lossess in eleven games,which included heavy defeats against Rochdale and MK Dons. They halted a run of five straight defeats with a win over Port Vale in September and they followed that up with a draw at Yeovil, but they suffered four defeats in their next four games.
Crewe’s recent league from has offered the Alex faithful some hope. They defeated Coventry, Walsall and Peterbourough in consecutive games in October and they have lost just one of their last six league games. However, when matches in all competitions are taken into consideration their form appears less impressive, as they are without a win in their last five.
On Tuesday night the Railwaymen exited the FA Cup at the hands of Sheffield United in their first round replay at Bramall Lane. The two sides had played out a goalless draw at Gresty Road ten days earlier, but on this occasion Ryan Flynn broke the deadlock by finishing from close range after 19 minutes. Crewe had already forced a fine double-save from Mark Howard and they came even closer to scoring when Brad Inman hit the post. Sheffield United had kept Alex stopper Ben Garratt busy and they eventually got the decisive second goal with Flynn finding the net again.
Garratt, Guthrie, Davis, Dugdale (Leigh 83), Turton, Atkinson (Jones 71), Inman, Cooper (Waters 65), Saunders, Ness, Grant.
Shearer, Ray, Baillie, Tate, Leigh, Jones, Waters
Crewe are likely to be without Marcus Haber as the striker has been away on international duty with Canada for the past two weeks. Callum Saunders made his full debut against the Blades in the FA Cup in mid-week but the young striker will have to be monitored ahead of the match against the O’s.
However, Steve Davis won’t be short of attacking options as he will have Febian Brandy and Danny Haynes available to him again. Neither player was given permission by their parent clubs to play for the Railwaymen in the FA Cup.
Matt Tootle may also be included in the squad on Saturday. The Crewe captain has missed the last four games due to a virus, but he has now returned to training and he will also have to be assessed before the game.
Jamie Ness will be hoping to retain his place in the Crewe side when he returns to Brisbane Road on Saturday. The Stoke midfielder was back in action in mid-week for the first time since October.
George Ray has completed his three match ban following his dismissal against Sheffield United in the league, therefore he could be re-introduced to the side. However Ryan Colclough and Liam Nolan look certain to miss out due to a hernia and an ankle injury respectively.
Jamie Ness spent the second half of last season on loan at Brisbane Road during which he made 14 appearances. His only Orient goal came in the 4-0 win over Carlisle.
In the meeting between the two sides at Brisbane Road at the start of last season, Orient defeated Crewe by two goals to nil. Moses Odubajo got the home side off to a great start by scoring after just seven minutes. The O’s were then awarded a penalty on 37 minutes and Mooney was able to convert from the spot to make it 2-0.
In the reverse fixture in January the O’s had to come from behind at Gresty Road after Byron Moore put the hosts ahead early in the second half. However, Chris Dagnall had been introduced at the break and the debutant didn’t take long to make an impact for his new side, bagging a brace inside ten minutes to give Orient all three points.
Crewe have won just one of their last ten games against the O’s. That victory came at Brisbane Road in February 2008, with Nicky Maynard grabbing the only goal of the game.
[textmarker color=”000000″ type=”background color”]Match Officials[/textmarker]
Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistants: John Busby and Adrian Sannerude
Fourth Official: Carl Brook
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