Leyton Orient will be keen to maintain their perfect home record when they host Eastleigh on this weekend. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Last Saturday, Leyton Orient returned to winning ways by beating Woking by two goals to nil at the Kingfield Stadium.
After stalemate during the first-half, Macauley Bonne broke the deadlock five minutes after the break.
David Mooney played a fine cross-field pass to James Dayton who found Jake Caprice on the overlap. The former Cards right-back delivered a low cross into the box for Bonne, who beat the defender to the ball and diverted it into the Woking net.
Bonne then sealed an O’s win five minutes from time. Mooney played a through ball down the left flank for his strike partner who drove inside the box before slotting the ball into the far corner of the hosts’ goal.
That was of course Orient’s first away win of the season and a very welcome result following the thrashing earlier that week at Bromley.
Caprice Coulson Elokobi Widdowson
Dayton Mooney McAnuff
Sargeant, Sendels-White, Clay (Lee 69′), Boco (Dayton 93′), Koroma (McAnuff 90′)
Steve Davis is expected to have a fully fit squad available to him. The O’s boss will have to use his squad wisely as Orient face two games in quick succession over the bank-holiday weekend.
Last time out, James Dayton and Jobi McAnuff were restored to the side at the expense of Romuald Boco and Josh Koroma. The former pair are likely to keep their places in the side. However, McAnuff may be rested during one of the two games this weekend.
Craig Clay is another player who could be given an opportunity considering the busy schedule. The former Motherwell midfielder has impressed during a number of substitute appearances so far this term.
Last Saturday, Jamie Sendles-White was named in a matchday squad for the first time, replacing Michael Clark. The former Swindon defender will be hoping to push George Elokobi and Josh Coulson for their places in the starting line-up.
The O’s will be without Christian Scales as the left-back has joined Harlow Town on an initial one-month loan.
Caprice Coulson Elokobi Widdowson
Dayton Mooney McAnuff
National League: 15th FA Cup: 3rd Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: Mikael Mandron 15
After securing a top-half finish, not far from the play-offs in 2015/16, 2016/17 was a disappointing campaign for Eastleigh as they finished in 15th place. Last term the Spitfires were 25 points short of the play-off places and only seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Eastleigh had four different managers in the dugout last season. Chris Todd didn’t make it beyond the first month of the campaign as he was sacked in August after four games.
When Ronnie Moore took over, the Spitfires were in 16th place but he managed to get them up as high as 5th and enjoyed an unbeaten start that ran for ten league games. Having suffered just four defeats under their new boss, Moore left the club at the end of November citing personal circumstances.
Martin Allen was appointed at the start of December, however, he only lasted 84 days in the job. After just two wins and seven defeats in his 14 games in charge, Allen was sacked in February.
Richard Hill returned to the club for a second spell, taking on the role of Director of Football as well as caretaker manager for the rest of the season. Hill did not manage to lift Eastleigh above 15th but he brought stability and has continued with his role in the Spitfires’ dugout.
Paul McCallum (Leyton Orient), Andrew Boyce (Grimsby Town), Ben Williamson (Cambridge United), Mark Yeates (Notts County), Harvey Read (Stoke City), Danny Hollands (Crewe Alexandra), Ross Flitney (Bromley), Cav Miley (FC St Paul's), Sam Wood (Wycombe Wanderers), Sam Matthews (Bournemouth, Loan), Chris Zebroski
Adam Dugdale (Southport), Connor Essam (Dover Athletic), David Pipe (Newport County), Matt Tubbs (Havant & Waterlooville), Scott Wilson (Macclesfield), Mekhi McLeod (Accrington Stanley), Joe Whittington, Ryan Burge, Jack Masterton, Jack Smith, Chinua Cole
National League: 10th Top scorer: Ben Williamson 4
Eastleigh arrive in E10 in tenth place in the National League but they are just one point behind the O’s.
After a goalless draw at Bromley on the opening day of the season, Richard Hill’s men claimed a 1-0 win at home to Sutton United, making the Spitfires the only side to have taken any points off of the league leaders so far this term.
Eastleigh were then held to a 2-2 draw against Dagenham & Redbridge. Woking inflicted the Spitfires’ only defeat so this season as the Cards won 2-1 at home.
However, Richard Hill’s side bounced back with a win over Tranmere Rovers last Saturday.
Both sides created opportunities during the first 45 minutes, however, it was Rovers who came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour. Adam Buxton’s delivery was met by Connor Jennings but his header rebounded off of the post.
The match remained goalless at the break but both sides continued to create in the early stages of the second half.
Ben Williamson was denied by Davies and at the other end, James Norwood flashed a shot wide of the Eastleigh goal.
It wasn’t until shortly after the hour mark that Eastleigh went in front. Williamson did well to fire the ball high into the Tranmere net from a tight angle.
Rovers continued to search for the equaliser, but the Spitfires extended their lead just over ten minutes from time. Sam Matthews whipped a free-kick into the box and Craig McAllister took advantage of some loose marking to head the ball into the Tranmere goal via the underside of the crossbar.
Flitney, Obileye, Wood, Togwell, Boyce, Howe, Hollands, Stearn, Zebroski, Williamson, Yeates
Green, Miley, Matthews (Stearn 60′), McAllister (Zebroski 46′), Constable (Williamson 80′)
Paul McCallum has missed Eastleigh’s last two games due to a bruised foot, however, he is thought to have recovered in time to feature against his former side on Saturday.
However, Spitfires boss Richard Hill will still be without a few experienced members of his squad. Veteran goalkeeper Graham Stack is on the sidelines. Defensive duo Gavin Hoyte and Reda Johnson are also set to miss out due to injuries.
Ryan Cresswell is also still recovering from a knee injury that required surgery.
Paul McCallum joined the Spitfires in the summer after leaving the O’s. During his two seasons with Orient, McCallum recorded fifteen goals in 43 appearances.
Andy Hessenthaler is currently assistant manager at Eastleigh. He joined the O’s in the summer of 2015 as Ian Hendon’s assistant and continued in that role under Kevin Nolan. Hessenthaler then became caretaker manager in April 2016 before getting the job on a permanent basis in June. He was sacked in September 2016 after 16 games in charge.
Ayo Obileye was at Orient’s youth academy as a youngster before moving to Chelsea’s academy.
Saturday’s game will be the first time that Leyton Orient and Eastleigh have met competitively.
Paul Saunders & Tom Bishop