Leyton Orient continue their build-up to the new campaign as they travel to Colchester United (3pm kick-off).
The U’s narrowly avoided relegation from League One last season, finishing the season in 19th place on 52 points, just two points ahead of relegated duo Notts County and Crawley Town. The U’s guaranteed their third-tier status for the coming season by beating Preston North End 1-0 on the final day of the 2014/15 campaign.
Last season the O’s lost both games against Colchester by two goals to nil, despite the U’s being reduced to ten men in both fixtures. In September Orient lost at Brisbane Road as Sanchez Watt and Freddie Sears punished the home side on the counter. In January Colchester won thanks to goals from Gavin Massey and Kaspars Gorkss.
Colchester United are yet to taste defeat in their four pre-season matches to date. In their first friendly Tony Humes’ side defeated Ryman Division One North opponents Heybridge Swifts 8-0. They then followed that up with a 4-0 victory at Ryman Premier Division side Brentwood Town. In their third friendly the U’s had to come from 2-0 down to beat Bishop’s Stortford, thanks to three second-half goals.
On Tuesday night Colchester defeated a West Ham XI as George Moncur found the net with a free-kick against his old team.
U’s stopper Sam Walker is expected to feature in his first pre-season game as he has been on the sidelines with a knee injury. Full back Richard Brindley has missed the last two friendlies but is expected to be fit enough to face the O’s. Former O Matthew Briggs is also expected to be in the squad.
[tabs title1=”Colchester United Squad To Face The O’s” text1=”Sam Walker, Elliot Parish, Tosin Olufemi, Richard Brindley, Kane Vincent-Young, Matthew Briggs, Tom Eastman, Frankie Kent, Alex Wynter, Cameron James, Tom Lapslie, Joe Edwards, Alex Gilbey, Sammie Szmodics, George Moncur, Gavin Massey, Dion Sembie-Ferris, Drey Wright, Dan Holman, Macauley Bonne, Chris Porter. ” ]
Orient go into the match having lost three of their four pre-season fixtures so far. They began their programme with a defeat at Braintree before jetting off to Spain for a training camp. They suffered defeats against Championship opponents Middlesbrough and Huddersfield, but they ended their trip with a comfortable 5-0 win over Los Iberos CF. In that game Ollie Palmer grabbed a hat-trick, with Dean Cox and Paul McCallum also getting on the scoresheet. McCallum had also found the net against Braintree and Middlesbrough.
Ian Hendon is expected to continue to trial centre-back Connor Essam and left-back Frazer Shaw. However other trialists who featured against Braintree Alex Woodyard and Luke Howell won’t be involved. The O’s boss has indicated that he won’t be offering Woodyard a contract, while Howell has signed for Boreham Wood.
Hendon revealed that Orient held a game for 15 trialists this week, but whether some of those who played are given the opportunity to face the U’s remains to be seen.
Peterborough midfielder Jack Payne travelled with the Orient squad to Spain but a deal is yet to be completed and is is unclear whether he will feature against Colchester.
Orient will be short of numbers in defence.
Shane Lowry seemingly still intends to exercise the relegation release clause in his Orient contract. The Australian defender scored as a trialist in a pre-season friendly for Birmingham to rescue a point against Kidderminster Harriers last weekend, however he did not feature in either of the Blues’ mid-week friendlies.
Nathan Clarke’s departure has weakened the squad even further. The O’s will also be without Jobi McAnuff as he is preparing for the Gold Cup Final with the Jamaica squad.
Meanwhile, Orient right-back Sean Clohessy will return to play against his old club. Colchester released him towards end of last season, just one year into his two-year contract after he fell out with U’s manager Tony Humes.
Tickets are available on the day. You can find ticket information for the fixture here.
Weston Homes Community Stadium
Post Code: CO4 5UP (alternatively use CO4 5JS)