Leyton Orient return to Brisbane Road for league action on Saturday, however, they will face a tough test against high-flying Tranmere Rovers.Here we preview Saturday’s game:
Last Saturday, Orient progressed to the fourth round of the FA Trophy by beating Dover Athletic despite a resurgence from the home side.
The O’s broke the deadlock ten minutes before the interval when George Elokobi lost his marker and nodded the ball home following a Jobi McAnuff corner.
Orient then struck again early in the second half courtesy of a stunning strike from Macauley Bonne. The striker cut inside and from outside the box curled the ball over the Dover keeper and into the top corner of the net.
Five minutes later the O’s went three goals up, as Matt Harrold battled in the box and turned the ball home from close range.
It looked like Orient were going to cruise into the next round, however, Dover fought back.
First Ryan Bird reduced the deficit, then Mitch Pinnock pulled another goal back with ten minutes to go. Two minutes later Bird scored again to level the game up and complete the comeback.
Orient had thrown away a commanding lead, however, there was late drama as substitute David Mooney chipped the Dover keeper to seal the win in injury time.
Caprice Coulson Elokobi Widdowson
McAnuff Adams Clay Reynolds
Sargeant, Happe, Brophy, Koroma, Mooney
Sam Ling will be hoping to feature for the O’s after returning to the club from Dagenham & Redbridge this week. He could be in line to take Jake Caprice’s place at right back.
Alex Lawless is available for selection again after serving his suspension. Dan Holman is also eligible to feature again after being cup-tied last weekend.
There are still a few injury problems in the O’s squad. Charlie Lee is still out of action due to his knee injury and James Dayton’s season is likely to be over as he undergoes surgery.
Myles Judd and Jamie Sendles-White have also been on the sidelines recently due to groin and ankle injuries respectively.
There were also a couple of departures this week. Freddy Moncur has left the club by mutual consent. Sam Sargeant has joined Leatherhead on loan until the end of the season, which indicates that Charlie Grainger has recovered from his back injury.
National League: 4th FA Cup: 1st Round FA Trophy: 1st Round Top scorers: Cook & Norwood 13
Tranmere Rovers are in the hunt for promotion from the National League. Micky Mellon’s side is currently in fourth place, but they are just two points behind current league leaders Wrexham.
Rovers have been in fine form since November, suffering just one defeat in their last eleven games while winning eight games.
Last weekend, Tranmere hosted Ebbsfleet United and claimed a comfortable 3-0 win to move up a league place.
Andy Cook gave Rovers the lead after a quarter-of-an-hour. The home side then doubled their lead ten minutes before half-time, when James Norwood curled the ball into the Ebbsfleet goal.
In the second half, Norwood added his second and Tranmere’s third goal of the afternoon by beating Fleet stopper Nathan Ashmore one-on-one.
Ridehalgh McNulty Sutton Clarke
Ginnelly Norburn Harris Jennings
Pilling, Gumbs, Tollitt, Hughes, Mangan
Rovers could be without Adam Buxton again for the trip to Brisbane Road. The full-back was due to start against Ebbsfleet last weekend but he was forced to sit the game out due to a calf problem. He will face a fitness test before Saturday’s game.
James Wallace is also likely to be ruled out after suffering a groin injury in training.
However, Mickey Mellon is set to have Ben Tollitt available. The forward returned to action from the bench last Saturday and he continued to build his fitness in a friendly against Fleetwood Town during the week.
When Orient made the trip to Prenton Park in October, Tranmere Rovers came from behind to claim all three points.
Matt Harrold gave the O’s the lead mid-way through the first-half by applying the finish from James Dayton’s low cross.
However, just four minutes after, Tranmere were back on level terms. Andy Cook scored from the rebound after Charlie Grainger had made a save to deny James Norwood.
Twenty minutes from time Tranmere made the breakthrough they had been pushing for. Dylan Mottley-Henry burst into space and delivered a cross which took a nick off of James Brophy and fell perfectly for Norwood to head home from close range.
The two sides last met at Brisbane Road in April 2014. Kevin Lisbie gave the O’s the lead right before the break and Chris Dagnall sealed a 2-0 win for Orient after the break.
Tranmere’s last win over Orient in E10 came in August 2011 with Rovers taking all three points thanks to a David Buchanan goal on the hour.
Overall, Tranmere have edged the past meetings, having won 17 games, whereas Orient have managed 15 wins over Rovers. There have also been 7 draws in this fixture.
Mike Desborough & Damith Bandara