Leyton Orient play their first game since the departure of Steve Davis and they face a tough test as they host league leaders Dover Athletic. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Last Saturday, Orient suffered defeat against Ebbsfleet live on BT Sport.
The home side took the lead after just six minutes as Andy Drury finished off Luke Coulson’s low cross from close range.
Matt Harrold came agonisingly close to equalising for Orient as he got on the end of Jake Caprice’s cross, however, the ball was tipped on to the post by the Fleet goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore and the ball was eventually cleared off of the goal-line.
Ebbslfeet doubled their advantage five minutes before the break. Experienced striker Danny Kedwell headed the ball home from Weston’s cross.
In the latter stages, James Dayton pulled a goal back for the O’s with a fine strike from outside the area. However, it was too little too late for the O’s to rescue a point.
On Tuesday, Steve Davis was sacked after 22 games in charge, half of which ended in defeat. Ross Embleton and Dean Brill will take charge of the first team which the O’s search for Davis’s successor.
Ellis Sendles-White Happe
Dayton Lawless Westbrooke
Sargeant, Judd (Caprice 80′), Clay, McAnuff (Lawless 65′), Boco (Happe 45′)
Macauley Bonne has returned from international duty with Zimbabwe and will, therefore, be available for selection against Dover and is likely to go straight back into the starting line-up.
Joe Widdowson will also be back in contention after serving his one-match ban following his dismissal in the latter stages of the FA Cup tie against Gillingham.
Orient’s injury problems appear to have cleared up,long term injured trio Josh Coulson (groin), George Elokobi (hamstring), and Charlie Lee (knee) aside.
Jobi McAnuff returned to action last time out after a spell on the sidelines with a toe injury.
Ross Embleton and Dean Brill could well make changes in terms of personnel and formation as they aim to turn Orient’s form around.
National League: 6th FA Cup: 1st Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: Ricky Miller 40
Last term, Dover finished sixth in the National League, narrowly missing out on a play-off place by three points.
The Whites owed much to Ricky Miller, who scored 42 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions and finished as the top goalscorer in the National League. Such fine goalscoring form earned the 28-year-old to Peterborough in the summer.
Kane Richards (Chester), Ryan Bird (Newport County), Tobi Sho-Silva (Bromley), Josh Passley (Whitehawk), Kadell Daniel (Leatherhead), Mitch Brundle (Gateshead), Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Torquay United), Emmanuel Adebowale (Bishops Stortford), Connor Essam (Eastleigh), Femi Ilesanmi (Boreham Wood), Manny Parry (Braintree), Nortei Nortey (Solihull Moors), Chris Lewington (Welling), Jamie Allen (Southport), James Alabi (Tranmere Rovers, Loan), Paul Lewis (Cambridge United) Ejiro Okosieme, Aziz Deen-Conteh
Jim Stevenson (Chelmsford City), Moses Emmanuel (Sutton United), Steve Arnold (Gillingham), Richard Orlu (Woking), Joe Healy (Welling), Tyrone Marsh (Macclesfield), Jack Parkinson (Welling), Ross Lafayette (Sutton United), Peter Skapetis (Brisbane Roar), Aswad Thomas (Sutton United), Bondz N'Gala (Dagenham & Redbridge), Ricky Miller (Peterborough United), Ricky Modeste (Billericay), James Hurst (Wrexham), Jamie Grimes (Cheltenham Town), Tyrone Sterling (Bromley), Sam Magri (Ebbsfleet United), James Caton (Darlington)
National League: 1st FA Cup: 4th Q Round Top scorer: Ryan Bird 9
Dover are currently leading the National League having accumulated 36 points from their 19 games so far this season. However, Macclesfield Town are just a point behind the Whites, with Wrexham and Sutton just three points off the top spot.
Chris Kinnear’s side have lost just three league games this season and just one of those losses came on the road. Dover’s last league defeat was back in mid-September and they are currently on a nine-match unbeaten run.
Last time out, Dover defeated Eastleigh at home to keep their streak going.
James Alabi gave the home side the lead just after the half-hour mark. Eastleigh failed to clear Mitchell Pinnock’s long throw and Alabi eventually headed the ball into the visitors’ net.
The Whites then sealed the win with a second goal shortly before the hour, as Connor Essam doubled their lead.
Walker, Passley, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam, Brundle, Pinnock, Nortey, Bird, Alabi
Richards, Fazakerley, Okosieme, Deen-Conteh, Daniel (Alabi 72′)
Saturday’s game will be Chris Kinnear’s 600th league game in charge of Dover. Interestingly, Kinnear is also among the bookies’ favourites for the vacant managerial position at Brisbane Road.
Dover were dealt a blow this week as it emerged that Jamie Allen will miss the rest of the season as he requires surgery on both of his hips.
He joins fellow striker Tobi Sho-Silva on the sidelines. Sho-Silva will be out for three months after having a knee operation.
As a result, Chris Kinnear has strengthened his squad this week by signing winger Anthony Jeffrey on loan from Sutton United and the former Arsenal man will be in contention to make his debut against the O’s.
Connor Essam joined the O’s in July 2015 after a successful trial. He made 24 appearances for Orient during the 2015/16 but ended the season on loan at Dover before being released in the summer.
Saturday’s game will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
Dover hosted the O’s in a pre-season friendly in July 2016. Ricky Miller scored for the Whites in the first-half and Tyrone Marsh sealed a 2-0 win with a free-kick after the break.
Robin Cox & Gareth Viccars