Leyton Orient turn their attention to cup action as they travel to Dover Athletic for a third-round FA Trophy tie. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League: 6th FA Cup: 4th Q Round FA Trophy: 3rd Round Top scorer: Ryan Bird 12
Dover are currently in 6th place in the National League on 51 points, five points behind league leaders Macclesfield.
The Whites are in fine form having lost just one of their last eleven games in all competitions and they have won their last three games in a row.
Chris Kinnear’s men progressed to the third round of the FA Trophy by beating National South side Eastbourne Borough by three goals to nil and Evo-Stik Premier side Marine in a 4-3 win.
Last Saturday, Dover Athletic edged out Guiseley by two goals to one. Mitch Brundle gave Dover an early lead, scoring after five minutes with a fine strike from 25 yards. Dayle Southwell equalised for Guiseley shortly after the hour as he beat Dover keeper Mitch Walker from a free-kick. There was late drama, when Mitch Pinnock grabbed the winner for Dover two minutes from time.
Walker, Passley, Gallifuoco, Essam, Parry, Ilesanmi, Nortey, Brundle, Pinnock, Bird, Jeffrey
Fazakerley, Richards, Bellamy (Nortey 78′), Okosieme (Pinnock 93′), Daniel (Jeffrey 79′)
Dover boss Chris Kinnear is expected to have close to a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the visit of Orient.
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.
On Tuesday night, Orient claimed an important win over Halifax Town which saw the O’s overtake their opponents and move up to 17th place in the National League.
Macauley Bonne put Orient in front after eighteen minutes, as he latched on to Dan Holman’s pass and slotted the ball past the Halifax stopper.
Tom Denton put Halifax back on level terms just before the half-hour, by firing the ball high into the net at the far post.
However, soon after, Josh Koroma scored what turned out to the be the winner. The Orient winger worked space for a shot from the edge of the area which beat the Halifax ‘keeper at his near post.
That result put Orient five points clear of the relegation zone.
Orient have beaten Haringey Borough and Bognor Regis to make it through to the third round of the FA Trophy.
Caprice Coulson Happe Elokobi
McAnuff Clay Adams Koroma
Sargeant, Moncur, Reynolds, Mooney, Harrold
The O’s were dealt a blow this week, as following a scan it emerged that James Dayton will be out of action for around three months due to his hamstring injury which requires surgery. Therefore, the 29-year-old’s season could well be over.
However, Justin Edinburgh added to his squad on deadline day, with James Brophy returning to Brisbane Road on a permanent basis from Swindon Town for an undisclosed fee. Brophy would be a candidate to replace Dayton, however, he faces competition from Josh Koroma and Lamar Reynolds.
The O’s boss still has a number of players unavailable to him.
Alex Lawless will be missing as he will serve the final game of his suspension. Dan Holman is also ineligible to feature as he is cup-tied.
On the injury front, Charlie Grainger (back), Myles Judd (groin), and Jamie Sendles-White (ankle) remain doubts for the trip to the Crabble. Charlie Lee is still not ready to return from serious knee injury.
However, Joe Widdowson will be available for selection after completing his two-game suspension following his dismissal in the previous round of the FA Trophy against Bogor Regis.
Dan Holman had a loan spell with Dover 2015, scoring two goals in six appearances for the club.
When the two sides met in the National League at Brisbane Road in November, the O’s managed a creditable draw against then in-form league leaders Dover Athletic.
Dover took the lead mid-way through the first-half. Alabi held off Widdowson and laid the ball off to Nortei Nortey who curled the ball into the far corner of the Orient goal.
After the break, Macauley Bonne had two efforts saved and blocked on the goal-line in quick succession.
Orient eventually equalised with just over ten minutes to go. A counter-attack ended with Craig Clay checking back and firing a curling shot, which deflected into the Dover goal to make it 1-1.
The O’s then came agonizingly close to grabbing a winner when Bonne met James Dayton’s cross to the far post, however, Dover stopper Mitch Walker pulled off a great save to ensure that the score remained level.
Gareth Viccars and Paul Evans
5,745 (Seats 1,500)