Leyton Orient return to action this weekend as they play host to Aldershot Town. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Last Saturday, Orient’s match against Halifax was postponed due to the frozen pitch at the Shay. As a result, the O’s haven’t been in competitive action since the 13th January, when Orient eventually overcame a spirited Bognor Regis side to progress to the third round of the FA Trophy.
The home side held firm into the latter stages of the game against the O’s despite going down to ten men on the hour when Richard Gilot received a second yellow card. Orient were themselves reduced to ten men with just over ten minutes left as Joe Widdowson was booked for a second time.
Shortly after, the O’s took the lead. Matt Harrold kept the ball in play by nodding it back into the goal mouth, where Macauley Bonne was on hand to nod the ball home from close range.
However, Jimmy Muitt took the tie to extra time with a superb strike from outside the box that flew into the top corner of Dean Brill’s goal.
Substitute Josh Koroma secured the win for O’s with a fine strike of his own.
Caprice N’Gala Elokobi Widdowson
McAnuff Adams Clay Reynolds
Grainger, Happe, Judd, Koroma, Mooney
Against Bognor Regis, George Elokobi made his long-awaited return to first-team action after being sidelined due to a hamstring injury since September.
Loanees Ebou Adams and Lamar Reynolds also made their debut and full debut respectively. Orient’s other recent loan signing Dan Holman was ineligible to feature last time out as he was cup-tied.
Alex Lawless missed the match against Bognor Regis due to a groin injury, however, he has since returned to full training. James Dayton has also recovered from an ankle injury.
The O’s will be without Charlie Grainger as he has picked up a back injury. As a result, Sam Sargeant has been recalled from his loan spell at Margate.
Joe Widdowson will also be missing as he will begin his two-match suspension following his dismissal against Bognor Regis.
Charlie Lee is still out of action due to a knee injury. Jamie Sendles-White is also currently on the sidelines.
The O’s will also be without Sam Dalby as the 18-year-old striker joined Leeds United earlier this week for an undisclosed fee.
National League: 2nd FA Cup: 4th Q Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorer: Shamir Fenelon 9
Aldershot Town currently sit in second place in the National League on 52 points from 30 games. They are three points behind league leaders Macclesfield and so have a chance to take top spot with a win this weekend.
Gary Waddock’s men are in good form having avoided defeat in their last six. Their last defeat was against Halifax Town in early December, but that was the only defeat in Aldershot’s last twelve games.
The Shots are also unbeaten in their last six away league games. Their last league defeat on the road came against Barrow back in late October.
Last Saturday, Aldershot hosted Ebbsfleet United. The two sides could not be separated and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Ward, Alexander, Evans, Fenelon, Oyeleke, Kabamba, Gallagher, Kellermann, Kinsella, Fowler, Taylor
Cole, Rendell, McClure, Rowe
Aldershot will continue to be without their captain Callum Reynolds as he is on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Loanee Fabien Robert is unlikely to feature either as he is short of fitness.
Nick Arnold is also ruled out of the match against the O’s as he continues his rehabilitation from his long-term knee injury.
Gary Waddock has added to his squad this week after only naming four substitutes last week. The Shots have signed forward Josh McQuoid following the mutual termination of his contract with Luton Town. Adam McDonnell has also joined Aldershot from Ipswich Town this week.
When the sides met at the Recreation Ground in September, Orient came back from two goals down to rescue a point.
Cheye Alexander gave the Shots the lead after nine minutes, beating Charlie Grainger with a curling shot. Ten minutes later Matt McClure doubled Aldershot’s advantage.
Orient reduced the deficit five minutes before the interval when Craig Clay met Jobi McAnuff’s cross. The O’s still trailed going into the last ten minutes, however, Romauld Boco came off the bench and scored the equaliser for the O’s.
Orient played the club under their former guise Aldershot FC on 47 occasions, winning 14, drawing 15, and losing 18 games.
Robert Evans & Darren Knox