Leyton Orient will be looking to return to winning ways in their first home game of 2018. However, they face a Boreham Wood side who are chasing promotion. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Leyton Orient began 2018 with a goalless draw against Dagenham & Redbridge on New Year’s Day.
Josh Koroma came close to opening the scoring with a looping volley that appeared to be creeping under the crossbar until Mark Cousins tipped the ball over.
At the other end, Den Brill had to pull off an acrobatic save to keep Mason Bloomfield’s close-range header out.
Both goalkeepers were in good form, with Cousins again producing a good save to deny Craig Clay. From the corner that followed, James Dayton beat Cousins with a fine strike from the edge of the area, but the goal did not stand as the referee had awarded a free-kick to the Daggers for a foul in the box.
Orient continued to look lively in the second half, but Cousins continued to frustrate them. It looked like David Mooney had broken the deadlock when he met Joe Widdowson’s cross but somehow the Daggers’ keeper made the save.
Dagenham & Redbridge fashioned a chance for themselves in the latter stages, however, Fejiri Okenabirhie missed the target with his effort.
In the end, both sides had to settle for a point to end the busy festive period.
Caprice Coulson Happe Widdowson
Dayton Lawless Clay Koroma
Grainger, Sendles-White, Moncur, Dalby, Harrold (Mooney 74′)
Jobi McAnuff was unavailable last time out after he sustained a knee injury against Bromley. While the injury isn’t thought to be too serious, he could well miss Saturday’s game.
Myles Judd is also sidelined with a leg injury.
However, there is some positive news for the O’s on the injury front. George Elokobi returned to action in a friendly against Colchester during the week, playing 45 minutes. The 31-year-old defender has been on the sidelines for four months due to a hamstring injury but he is now nearing a return to first-team action and could even be among the substitutes.
The O’s are also set to have Bondz N’Gala available for selection as he has served his one-match ban following his dismissal against Bromley.
Justin Edinburgh has also added to the squad this week with two loan signings. Striker Dan Holman has joined Orient for the rest of the season on loan from Cheltenham Town. Newport County winger Lamar Reynolds has also moved to E10 on loan for the rest of the campaign. Both players will be hoping to make their debuts against Boreham Wood.
The O’s will be without Sam Sargeant after the goalkeeper joined Bostik Premier Division side Margate on a 28-day loan deal.
Orient’s new loan signing Dan Holman spent the first half of the season on loan at Boreham Wood. He scored five goals in 19 appearances for the club
National League: 8th FA Cup: 2nd Round FA Trophy: 2nd Round Top scorer: Bruno Andrade 11
Boreham Wood are currently 8th in the National League on 43 points and are being kept out of the play-off places only by goal difference
The Wood drew 0-0 at Solihull Moors just before Christmas. They then suffered a 4-o defeat against Sutton United on Boxing Day, which ended their 12-game unbeaten streak in the league which stretched back to September. However, the Wood bounced back with a 3-0 win over Torquay.
On New Year’s Day, Boreham Wood snatched a point late on thanks to Angela Balanta’s stoppage-time goal.
Boreham Wood had gone behind just before the hour as Sutton were awarded a penalty due to Tom Champion’s foul on Adam Coombes. Jamie Collins scored from the spot to make it 1-0, a lead which Sutton still held going into stoppage time.
However, in the last few minutes, Balanta nodded the ball home from Bruno Andrade’s corner to rescue a point for the Wood.
G Smith, K Smith, Woodards, Ricketts, Stephens, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade, Jeffers, Turley, Turgott
Chesmain, Thomas, Jarvis (Woodards 73′), Balanta (Jeffers 61′), Shakes (Turgott 61′)
Boreham Wood haven’t lost an away league game since mid-September, however, only two of their seven games on the road since then have been victories.
The Wood will be without Dean Wells as the defender picked up a serious knee injury against Dartford last month that has ruled him out of the rest of the campaign.
However, Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard has added to his defensive options this week by signing Alex Davey from Cheltenham Town.
Erbil Bozkurt spent two years with the O’s as academy goalkeeping coach and later first-team goalkeeping coach before leaving the club last summer and joining Boreham Wood as head goalkeeping coach/player.
Blair Turgott signed for Orient in June 2015 on a one-year contract. During the 2015/16 season, the winger made 36 appearances in all competitions. His only goal in an O’s shirt was a stunning volley to round off a 3-0 win over Stevenage. Blair recently made a permanent move to Boreham Wood.
The O’s lost the first ever meeting between the two sides when they made the trip to Meadow Park.
Boreham Wood took the lead ten minutes before the interval. Kieron Murtagh fired a shot past Charlie Grainger, but George Elokobi was able to block the effort. However, the ball only deflected as far as Danny Woodards, who applied an emphatic finish.
Orient had a great chance to equalise when David Mooney threaded the ball to Macauley Bonne to play him in on goal, but Bonne looped his shot high over the crossbar.
Boreham Wood then sealed the win with a second goal five minutes into the second-half. A lapse in concentration from Elokobi saw him gift the ball to Bruno Andrade at the byline. Andrade played a pass into the path of Murtagh who chipped the ball into the Orient net.
Joshua Ainscow & Isaac Searle