Leyton Orient return to league action this weekend with a trip to Maidstone United. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League: 11th FA Cup: 2nd Round FA Trophy: 2nd Round Top scorer: Joe Piggott 8
Maidstone are currently in 11th place in the National League having accumulated 34 points from their 22 games so far this term.
Over the last month, the Stones have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats, having lost 4-0 against both Boreham Wood and Tranmere and bowing out of the FA Cup in a 4-1 loss to MK Dons. Maidstone ended their losing run with a goalless draw at Maidenhead.
Last weekend, Maidstone defeated Torquay by four goals to nil to progress to the second round of the FA Trophy.
The Stones took the lead after a quarter of an hour as Magnus Okuonghae punished Torquay for failing to clear from a corner. Reece Prestedge then doubled their lead just before the break.
After the break, Torquay were dealt a further blow as Jazzi Barnum-Bobb was dismissed. Soon after, Maidstone made it 3-0 as Joe Pigott headed the ball home from Jai Reason’s free-kick.
Maidstone’s demolition of the Gulls was completed in stoppage time when Tom Wraight finished from close range.
Worgan, Twumasi, Anderson, Wynter, Okuonghae, Finney, Prestedge, Lewis, Reason, Pigott, Loza
Hare, Collins (Loza 81′), Sam-Yorke (Pigott 76′), Wraight (Reason 76′), Hines
Maidstone’s last league win was also against Torquay in early November. Since then, the Stones have gone four league games without a win.
Last time out, Maidstone boss Jay Saunders brought Magnus Okuonghae into the side as he opted to switch to a 3-5-2 system.
The change ended the Stones’ winless run, therefore Saunders may well stick with that formation for the visit of Orient.
Jamar Loza had a short loan spell with the O’s in January 2014, but he made just three appearances for the club and failed to find the net.
Alex Finney began his career in the Orient youth academy but he was snapped up by Bolton Wanderers in 2014 before he made a senior appearance for the O’s. He is currently on loan at Maidstone from QPR.
Last Saturday, Orient had to come from behind to defeat Isthmian League North Division side Haringey Borough and book their place in the second round of the FA Trophy.
Michael Ademiluyi gave Haringey an early lead, firing a low shot past Dean Brill with just five minutes gone.
Josh Coulson equalised for the O’s after the break as he met a delivery to the far post and volleyed the ball into the hosts’ net.
Matt Harrold was introduced for the last ten minutes and he secured Orient’s progression to the second round of the FA Trophy with his first touch, heading the ball into the net from a Jobi McAnuff corner.
Justin Edinburgh described his side’s performance as professional and they will travel to Bognor Regis in the second round of the FA Trophy in the new year.
However, the O’s now go into the festive period when they will play four games in ten days.
Judd N’Gala Coulson Widdowson
McAnuff Clay Lawless Dayton
Grainger, Happe (Coulson 59′), Sendles-White (Dayton 93′), Koroma, Harrold (Lawless 79′)
Last Saturday, Josh Coulson returned to action for the first time since suffering a groin injury back in September. After managing an hour of football on his return, Coulson will be hoping to keep his place in the side alongside Bondz N’Gala.
Jake Caprice is also available for selection after completing his three-match ban following his dismissal against Torquay last month. Justin Edinburgh will have to decide whether to restore Caprice to the starting lineup or whether to stick with Myles Judd.
Matt Harrold was rested last weekend, playing just over ten minutes after coming off of the bench, however he is likely to be back in the starting line-up at the Gallagher Stadium at the expense of David Mooney.
During their meeting earlier in the season, Orient overcame Maidstone United by two goals to nil.
The match remained goalless up until the hour mark when David Mooney headed home from James Dayton’s cross.
Maidstone appeared to have snatched a late equaliser, when Delano Sam-Yorke put the ball in the Orient net after Grainger had saved Pigott’s shot, however, the goal was chalked off due to offside.
Substitute Romauld Boco put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time. Charlie Lee broke forward with the ball and slipped a through pass to Boco who coolly stroked the ball beyond Lee Worgan and into the visitors’ net.
Marcus Carmichael & Gareth Viccars
4,168 (Seats 750)