Leyton Orient will desperate to end their long run without a win by beating relegation rivals Torquay United. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League: 17th FA Cup: 4th Q Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: Brett Williams 10
Last term, Torquay finished four places and three points above the relegation zone in the National League, having accumulated 53 points over the campaign.
National League: 23rd FA Cup: 4th Q Round Top scorer: Ruairi Keating 4
Torquay United are currently second from bottom in the National League, seven points adrift from the O’s and safety.
Kevin Nicholson was sacked at Torquay manager following three defeats and a draw in the first four games of the season.
Former Bath manager Gary Owers was appointed in mid-September, but he couldn’t prevent the Gulls from going 13 league games in total without a win. However, their first victory of the campaign came in a 4-0 win over Maidenhead at the start of October and of late Torquay have shown some glimmers of hope of avoiding the drop.
On Tuesday night, Torquay moved off the bottom of the National League by claiming their third victory of the campaign.
The Gulls travelled to Gander Green Lane to face Sutton United and they returned with all three points. Ruairi Keating’s header ten minutes into the game proved to be enough to end Sutton’s nine-match unbeaten streak.
Efete Davey McGinty
Barnum-Bobb Lathrope Young Davis
Clarke, Higgins (McQuoid 68′), Myrie-Williams, Pittman (Reid 89′), Murphy
Torquay United have the second-worst home record in the National League having managed just one win and six points from their ten games at Plainmoor so far this term.
Torquay have a few injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game.
George Dowling and Josh Gowling remain on the sidelines due to hamstring and knee injuries respectively. Jake Gosling is back in training following a spell out due to a broken bone in his foot, however, he won’t be ready to feature this weekend.
Gary Owers is still awaiting Guy Gnabouyou’s transfer to receive international clearance, therefore it remains to be seen whether he will eligible to face the O’s. However, the French striker may not be deemed ready for action just yet anyway.
On Tuesday night, ten-man Orient battled to secure a point against fellow strugglers Chester.
The O’s got off to a good start, opening the scoring after just six minutes as Macauley Bonne met a Jobi McAnuff cross and looped his header into the far corner of the visitors’ goal.
Ten minutes later Chester drew level in controversial circumstances. James Akintunde got a slight touch on a cross to direct the ball goalwards. Sam Sargeant appeared to have clawed the ball off of the goal-line but the assistant referee judged that the ball crossed the line.
Five minutes before the interval the away side took the lead as Ross Hannah beat Sargeant with a free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
Soon after, it looked like Chester would extend their lead. Sargeant rushed out but failed to nod the ball away, wiping Happe out in the process. Bell was left through on goal but Sendles-White managed to get back, however, the Chester attacker went down in the box. The referee dismissed Sendles-White and awarded the away side a penalty. Hannah stepped up but Sargeant saved the spot kick.
Ross Embleton was then sent to the stands after reacting angrily to another decision.
Orient’s numerical disadvantage meant they faced an uphill task in the second-half. However, the O’s were able to match Chester and on the hour their hard work paid off. Jobi McAnuff produced a fine strike from 30 yards, firing the ball into the net leaving the Chester ‘keeper rooted to the spot.
Both sides pushed for a winner but in the end, had to settle for a point.
Caprice Sendles-White Happe Widdowson
Brill, Ellis, Westbrooke (Lawless 45′), Mooney (Dayton 81′), Harrold (Clay 45′)
Ross Embleton opted to name an unchanged side last time out, however, he will be forced to make at least three changes for the trip to Plainmoor.
Jamie Sendles-White will serve a one-match ban following his dismissal last time out. Macauley Bonne is also suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Tuesday night.
The O’s will also be without James Brophy as the loanee has been recalled by his parent club Swindon Town, bringing his spell in E10 to an end.
However, the O’s have moved to strengthen their defensive options this week as Bondz N’Gala arrived on a one-month loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge. The 28 -year-old will add depth at centre back with Sendles-White suspended, Josh Coulson and George Elokobi still on the sidelines with injuries, and Mark Ellis’s loan from Carlisle due to expire soon. However, N’Gala may not go straight into the side having not played a league game for the Daggers since August.
Embleton may also have a decision to make regarding the goalkeeping position. Sargeant did not have a great game against Chester last time out and Charlie Grainger returned to training this week after recovering from his hip problem.
Charlie Lee remains a long-term injury concern and he is still recovering from his serious knee injury.
Martin Ling managed Torquay between 2011 and 2013.
Mike Desborough & Aaron Moody
6,500 (Seats 2,950)