Leyton Orient halted their losing run last week and they will now be looking to record their first victory in four as they host struggling AFC Fylde. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Last Saturday, Orient ended their losing streak by coming from two goals down to rescue a point at high-flying Aldershot.
The O’s fell behind early on. Nine minutes were on the clock when Cheye Alexander curled a shot into the far side of the Orient net.
Having taken the lead, Aldershot were in the ascendancy and after applying some pressure, they doubled their advantage ten minutes later. Matt McClure chased the ball down, beat Jamie Sendles-White for strength and fired the ball into the same side of the goal that Alexander had picked out earlier.
The hosts were looking comfortable and they could well have gone three goals up. However, five minutes before the interval the O’s reduced the deficit.
Jobi McAnuff whipped a free-kick towards the far post where Craig Clay was on hand to nod the ball into the net give the O’s a lifeline. The visitors came close to gaining more than that right before the break as McAnuff hit the post with a freekick and Macauley Bonne was also denied by a fine save from Jake Cole.
Orient created a couple of opportunities early in the second half, but Aldershot responded with a strong spell that could’ve seen them restore their two-goal lead.
The O’s were still in touching distance as the match entered the final ten minutes and Romauld Boco made a decisive impact from the bench. The Benin international raced onto a flick on, rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home the equaliser.
In the dying moments, Clay got on the end of a corner but his header was nodded off the Aldershot goal line and the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Caprice Coulson Sendles-White Widdowson
Dayton McAnuff Brophy
Sargeant, Happe (Coulson 84′), Ochieng, Boco (Dayton 72′), Dalby
The point at Aldershot was even more creditable considering the fact that the O’s squad had been decimated by injuries.
Orient were without George Elokobi and Charlie Lee (knee). Elokobi underwent surgery on hamstring injury earlier this week. Neither is expected to return from injury anytime soon.
David Mooney and Matt Harrold also missed out as they were not fit in time to face Aldershot. Josh Koroma suffered a back injury last week and failed a fitness test ahead of last weekend’s game. Harrold is the most likely of the trio to return on Saturday, though it is hoped that Mooney and Koroma will also be in contention for places in the squad.
In the latter stages of the match, the O’s were dealt a blow as Josh Coulson’s groin injury forced him off the pitch. The Cambridge loanee had rushed back to play against Aldershot but he will now face two months on the sidelines.
However, Steve Davis did have Craig Clay and James Dayton available to him last week as Clay overcame a tight hamstring and Dayton returned from his hamstring injury.
Two first-choice centre-backs on the injury list has forced Martin Ling and Steve Davis to reinforce the squad and the defensive ranks were boosted by the arrival of Mark Ellis on loan from Carlisle United earlier this week. He is set to make his debut against Fylde.
Jamie Sendles-White is likely to continue in the side ahead of Dan Happe, Michael Clark, and Aron Pollock who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Loanee James Brophy made his debut last time out but he may drop to bench following Boco’s contribution from the bench.
Caprice Sendles-White Ellis Widdowson
Dayton Boco McAnuff
National League North: 1st FA Cup: 2nd Q Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: Danny Rowe 47
Last term, AFC Fylde won the National League North title, sealing their promotion to the National League for the first time. A 3-0 win over Boston in April saw the Coasters secure the title with a game to spare.
Fylde won 26 games last term and lost just six as they accumulated 88 points. They also broke the 100 goal barrier and had a +49 goal difference. Almost half of those goals were scored by Danny Rowe as he notched 47 league goals.
Luke Burke (Wigan Athletic, Loan), Zaine Francis-Angol (Kidderminster Harriers), Jay Lynch (Salford), Simon Grand (Salford), Tom McCready (Exeter City), Jordan Tunnicliffe (Kidderminster Harriers), Henry Jones (Bangor City), Jack Muldoon (Lincoln City), Johnny Smith (Bristol City, Loan), Jordan Richards (Darlington), Lewis Montrose (Stockport County), Josh Ezewele (Kidderminster Harriers)
Bohan Dixon (Halifax Town), Richie Baker (FC United of Manchester), Kieran Kennedy (Macclesfield Town), Dom Collins (Darlington), Matty Hughes (Chorley), David Morgan (Harrogate Town), Tom Kennedy (Bangor City), Brendon Daniels (Alfreton), Daniel Bradley (Kidderminster Harriers), Steve Williams, Emilio Omam-Biyik, Tony Thompson
National League: 20th Top scorer: Rowe, Jones 4
AFC Fylde arrive at Brisbane Road in 20th place in the National League with 12 points, meaning they are just one point and one place above the relegation zone.
The Coasters went without a win in their first five games, having drawn four and having suffered a 4-1 defeat against Maidenhead.
However, Fylde ended August on a better note. They claimed their first win of the campaign at Hartlepool and they then followed that up with another victory. Barrow lost at Mill Farm by a single goal on Bank Holiday Monday in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Despite those victories, Fylde have been winless during September thus far and they have conceded two goals in each of their five games this month.
Dave Challinor’s men managed 2-2 draws with Bromley and Eastleigh, but lost to Halifax, Macclesfield and most recently Woking.
Last Saturday, Fylde hosted the Cards at Mill Farm.
The home side took the lead after 18 minutes as Jordan Tunnicliffe nodded the ball into the Woking net from Henry Jones’s corner.
However, the Coasters were undone in the space of two minutes in the second half as Woking came back to take all three points.
The Cards’ first goal owed plenty to fortune as Joe Ward’s shot from outside the box took a deflection and went in off of the post to put Woking back on level terms.
A minute later, the visitors took the lead. Jamie Philpot rose to head the ball past Jay Lynch following a cross from the left flank.
Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Francis-Angol, Bond, Montrose, Tasdemir, Jones, Muldoon, Rowe
Richards, Ezewele, Blinkhorn (Bond 73′), McCready (Tasdemir 82′), Smith (Muldoon 62′)
Dave Challinor could have close to a fully fit squad available to him for the trip to Brisbane Road.
Sam Finley returned to training on Thursday, however, he may not be fit enough to make his return on Saturday.
James Hardy could also be in contention again after coming through a reserve match during the week.
Zaine Francis-Angol had a trial with the O’s in the summer of 2015. He did not secure an Orient contract and later signed for Kidderminster Harriers.
Saturday’s game will be the first time that Leyton Orient and AFC Fylde have played each other.
Paul Evans & Andrew Humphries