The O’s will need a dramatic improvement following Tuesday night’s defeat, as they travel to face Eastleigh. Here we preview Saturday’s game:
National League: 14th FA Cup: 2nd Round FA Trophy: Quarter Final Top scorers: Burrow & Johnson 6
Eastleigh are currently in 14th place in the National League on 45 points, two points more than the O’s, however, the Spitfires have a played one game fewer.
Andy Hessenthaler’s men are also well rested as recent postponements mean that Eastleigh hasn’t played since the 24th of February when they played out a goalless draw against Halifax Town.
Hessenthaler will be hoping that the break will benefit his side as they had failed to win any of their last five games, which included three straight defeats.
Stack, Hoyte, Wood, Togwell, Johnson, Boyce, Obileye, Matthews, Miley, McCallum, Zebroski
Broom, Hollands, Flitney, Yeates, Williamson
Paul McCallum joined the Spitfires last summer after leaving the O’s. During his two seasons with Orient, McCallum recorded fifteen goals in 43 appearances.
Andy Hessenthaler is currently manager at Eastleigh. He joined the O’s in the summer of 2015 as Ian Hendon’s assistant and continued in that role under Kevin Nolan. Hessenthaler then became caretaker manager in April 2016 before getting the job on a permanent basis in June. He was sacked in September 2016 after 16 games in charge.
Ayo Obileye was at Orient’s youth academy as a youngster before moving to Chelsea’s academy.
On Tuesday night, Orient produced a poor performance and as a result, suffered a poor defeat against strugglers Torquay United.
The O’s made a decent start but failed to convert their pressure into an early lead. The away side grew into the game and grabbed a goal shortly before the break.
Brett Williams clipped a cross into the box and Elliott Romain rose above George Elokobi and headed the ball past Dean Brill.
Orient lacked the quality needed to get back into the game but came closest in stoppage time when David Mooney was denied by the post.
Caprice Coulson Elokobi Ling
Reynolds Adams Clay Brophy
Grainger, Widdowson, Koroma, Harrold, Holman
Justin Edinburgh is expected to have more options when selecting his side to take on Eastleigh.
Jobi McAnuff has been sidelined of late due to a nerve problem in his neck, however, the experienced winger could return to action this weekend.
Myles Judd has also been out of action for a while, however, he has returned to training, as have Dan Happe and Alex Lawless after recovering from groin and hip injuries respectively.
Charlie Lee (knee) and James Dayton (calf) remain on the sidelines.
When Orient hosted Eastleigh at Brisbane Road back in August, the O’s claimed a point against Eastleigh thanks to a late equaliser from Craig Clay.
The O’s had an opportunity to take the lead shortly before half-time. James Dayton was brought down in the penalty area by Sam Wood and the referee awarded the home side a penalty. David Mooney stepped up but got his connection with the ball all wrong and put his penalty wide as Graham Stack went the wrong way.
The first half proved to be a tale of two penalties as Alex Lawless gave away a penalty in stoppage time after fouling Mark Yeates. Ex-Orient academy player Ayo Obileye put his spot kick straight down the middle, beating Charlie Grainger to ensure the Spitfires went in at the break 1-0 up.
Obileye came close to doubling his and the Spitfires’ tally early in the second-half, when he nodded a Mark Yeates free-kick towards the O’s goal but the ball struck the upright.
The O’s thought they had drawn level in stoppage time when emergency striker Josh Coulson had the ball in the Eastleigh net, but the cross that led to the goal was ruled to have gone out of play.
It looked like Orient were going to suffer their first home defeat of the season, however, Craig Clay grabbed a last-gasp equaliser. Jake Caprice’s cross was headed towards goal by Romuald Boco. An Eastleigh defender nodded the ball away, but only as far as Clay. The former Motherwell midfielder brought the ball down and drove a low shot towards goal. Eastleigh tried to block and clear the ball but they couldn’t prevent it from crossing the goal line and so Orient had managed to rescue a point very late on.
Tristan Greaves & Oliver Jackson
5,250 (Seats 2,660)