"With Orient colours waving"
We welcome the O’s as they seek to maintain their 100% League 2 away record (EDIT - they drew at Barrow last Saturday), just as we look to maintain our 100% League 2 home record … (EDIT - we drew against Colchester Utd, same day). Orient have had many changes over the years - they started life as Clapton Orient, adopting the title of Leyton Orient after World War II. In 1966 the shortened name of Orient was introduced, but in 1987 it was back to Leyton Orient again. Their home grounds have also been varied, starting at Glyn Road, moving to Millfields (originally a whippet racing ground), then Lea Bridge Stadium (used for Speedway racing), then in 1937 going to Brisbane Road. In the 1930’s their Lea Bridge ground was closed for urgent repairs (following a complaint from Torquay United), and their next two home games were played at Wembley Stadium with one of those fixtures attracting a crowd of 1,916…
Current form (ignoring 5 pre-season friendlies)
5th September Forest Green (A) Carabao Cup - Won 1-2
8th September Brighton & Hove U-21 (H) F L Trophy - Won 3-2
12th September Oldham Athletic (A) League 2 - Won 0-1
15th September Plymouth Argyle (H) Carabao Cup - Won 3-2
19th September Mansfield Town (H) League 2 - Drew 2-2
3rd October Cheltenham Town (H) Lost 0-2
10th October Barrow (A) Drew 1-1
The O’s do have a midweek fixture coming up on Tuesday 22nd September, when Tottenham Hotspur will be their visitors in the Carabao Cup - I wonder whether Gareth Bale will be on show?
There is, of course, one massive connection between our two clubs in the playing and managerial functions, in the form of Dean Smith. He made 239 appearances for Orient and re-joined them as Assistant Manager to Martin Ling, leaving in 2009 when he and Ling were shown the door after a bad run of form. Dean went on to be appointed as Youth Team manager at Walsall, and the rest is history, although he has recently blotted his copybook by joining a very minor Midlands League team called Aston Villa…
There is a family connection in Orient’s current playing strength - full back Sam Ling is Martin Ling’s son.
Prediction? The only certainty about **Darrell Clarke’**s team selection for this one is that he won’t be able to call on the services of Danny Guthrie (which may or may not make a whole world of difference). There are plenty of other names to juggle with if Darrell feels like “tinkering”, but it’s very tempting to feel that we should be able to find the net - after all, Andy Cook scored one and won the penalty for the other goal in their Mansfield Town game. However, it should be noted that Orient were 0-2 down with 10 minutes to go and came back for a 2-2 draw. So … let’s have a 2-1 home win shall we? Goals from Elijah and Wes!