Leyton Orient return to league action with a trip to face Ebbsfleet for a televised Saturday evening kick-off. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League South: 2nd FA Cup: 4th Q Round FA Trophy: 2nd Round
Last season, Ebbsfleet finished as runners-up in the National League South. They were beaten to the title by Maidenhead United who finished two points ahead of them.
As a result, the Fleet had to go through the play-offs. In the semi-finals, they faced Hampton & Richmond Borough and Ebbsfleet won both legs 2-1, giving them a 4-2 win on aggregate to progress to the play-off final.
In the final, they met Chelmsford City. Despite going a man down in the first-half following Anthony Cook’s dismissal and a goal down ten minutes into the second half, ten-man Ebbsfleet fought back. Two goals in the space of four minutes courtesy of Dave Winfield and Darren McQueen proved to be enough for the Fleet to seal promotion.
Myles Weston (Wycombe Wanderers), Jack Payne (Blackpool), Sam Magri (Dover Athletic), Chris Bush (Chelmsford City), Danny Mills (Whitehawk), Bagasan Graham (Chelmsford City), Luke Coulson (Barnet), Antonio German, Febian Brandy
Reiss Greenridge (Sogndal), Stuart Lewis (Maidstone), Mark Phillips (Greenwich Borough), Jean-Yves Koue Niate (Guiseley), John Paul Kissock (Southport), Sam Deering (Billericay), Charlie Sheringham
National League: 13th FA Cup: 1st Round Top scorer: Danny Kedwell 7
Daryl McMahon’s side have made a solid start to life in the National League after four seasons away. Ebbsfleet are currently in 13th place on 25 points.
The Fleet have suffered just three league defeats so far this term, losing to Aldershot, Macclesfield, and Torquay. The latter two defeats coming in Ebbsfleet’s last five games. However, four of Ebbsfleet’s five wins have occurred in their last seven league outings.
No side in the National League have drawn more games that Ebbsfleet, 10 of their 18 league games have ended level. The Fleet started the campaign with a nine-match unbeaten run, but eight of those games were drawn, with their only win in that sequence coming against Maidstone in their opening home game of the season.
Last weekend, the Fleet were knocked out of the FA Cup by Doncaster Rovers despite Ebbsfleet holding a two-goal lead at one point.
Ten minutes before the break, Ebbsfleet were awarded a penalty, which Danny Kedwell dispatched to make it 1-0. Two minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead as Luke Coulson found the net.
However, Doncaster drew level before the break with two goals in first-half stoppage time. First Tommy Rowe pulled a goal back and John Marquis scored the equaliser in the third minute of added time.
James Coppinger gave Doncaster the lead for the first time in the game seven minutes into the second half. Jordan Houghton made it 4-2 with just over ten minutes to go and from there the cup tie really got away from the home side.
Chris Bush was dismissed ten minutes from time as he was shown a second yellow card, reducing Ebbsfleet to ten men. Three minutes later, Coppinger scored his second and Rovers’ fifth from the penalty spot. Tommy Rowe then completed his brace and a 6-2 win for Doncaster.
Magri Bush Mambo Clark
Weston Coulson Cook
Connors, McLean, Mills, Miles, Brandy (Mambo 57′), Shields (Cook 76′), McCoy (Kedwell 84′)
Daryl McMahon will, of course, be missing Chris Bush after he picked up two yellow cards against Doncaster last time out.
Ebbsfleet could have Andy Drury available for selection again as he is thought to have recovered from his hamstring, however, he may only be reintroduced to action from the bench.
The Fleet also have a few longer-term injury concerns Dave Winfield and Jack Payne are not expected to return until around Christmas time, while Darren McQueen faces a few more months on the sidelines following his knee surgery.
Ebbsfleet boss Daryl McMahon joined the O’s in 2004 and made 40 appearances in Orient’s promotion-winning campaign in 2005/06. He left the club in January 2007 having scored six goals in 74 appearances of the O’s.
In September 2015 Jack Payne moved to Leyton Orient on a season-long loan from Peterborough. He made 32 appearances for the O’s and his only goal for the club came in a 1-0 win over Morecambe.
Aaron Mclean was also a product of the Orient youth system but his development was hindered by injury. He made 45 appearances and scored 3 goals for the O’s from August 1999 until March 2003 when he was released.
Last Saturday, the O’s bowed out of the FA Cup as they suffered defeat at the Priestfield Stadium against League One Gillingham.
The hosts broke the deadlock midway through the first half as Josh Parker rose unchallenged to beat Charlie Grainger to a cross and nod Gillingham in front.
Orient were a goal down at the interval and as a result, Steve Davis brought Alex Lawless on and switched to a 4-1-2-1-2. The Os’ improved in the second half and created more chances than they had in the first 45 minutes.
Despite a greater threat from the visitors, it was the home side who scored, doubling their lead with fifteen minutes to go. Tom Eaves muscled Sendles-White to the ground before firing a low shot beyond Charlie Grainger and into the Orient net.
Four minutes later, Orient pulled a goal back. James Dayton’s free-kick traveled across the Gillingham goal and into the far corner without anyone managing to get a touch, giving the winger his first goal for the club.
However, Orient could not muster an equaliser as the clock ticked down and in stoppage time they were reduced to ten men as Joe Widdowson picked up a second yellow card.
Clark Sendles-White Widdowson
Boco Westbrooke Dayton
Sargeant, Pollock, Lawless (Clark 45′), Clay, Dalby, Sotiriou (Westbrooke 87′), Harrold (Boco 69′)
Leyton Orient will be without top goalscorer Macauley Bonne as he is away on international duty with Zimbabwe. The 22-year-old received his first senior call-up for friendlies against Lesotho and Namibia and featured in the defeat against Lesotho on Wednesday.
Joe Widdowson will also miss the trip to Ebbsfleet as he will serve a one-match ban following his dismissal last weekend.
Alex Lawless made his return to action at the Priestfield Stadium, coming off the bench at half-time, therefore he is set to be in contention to face Ebbsfleet this Saturday.
Loanees Mark Ellis and James Brophy will also be available for selection after missing the FA Cup tie last weekend.
Jobi McAnuff missed the FA Cup tie last time out due to a toe injury but he may be fit to return this weekend. Dan Happe was also missing due to an ankle injury but he is expected to recover in time.
Charlie Lee is a continuing his rehabilitation from the serious knee injury that he suffered earlier in the season.
Josh Coulson and George Elokobi gave updates on their injuries this week.
Elokobi’s rehabilitation from his hamstring injury is going well and he is expected to be able to do some jogging in the near future as he builds towards a return to training.
Coulson has been able to do some light running recently as he works towards a return to action.
Leyton Orient and Ebbsfleet last played each other in the summer of 2012 in a pre-season friendly. The O’s had the better of the game during the first 45 minutes, with chances coming to Jimmy Smith and Dean Cox. The home side had also threatened on occasion during the first half, but it was not until the 66th minute that the hosts broke the deadlock through a Nathan Elder goal. Orient continued to search for the equaliser, but they could not breach the Ebbsfleet defence and the hosts held out for the win.
The two sides last met competitively in November 1993 in the FA Cup. Orient managed a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Barry Lakin and Warren Hackett.
Paul Lister & Marcus Carmichael
3,500 (2,300 seats)