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Monday, August 17, 2009

Leyton Orient Preview

A terrific result at the Victoria Ground and one that gives us two League wins in a row for the first time since Dec 2007. And I have to say that 2-0 is my favorite scoreline, there's no going over the top, its workmanlike, controlled, and professi0nal (according to Parky ) and another step towards our goal. There were 6 of them back in 1985/86 that got us promotion when we finished 2nd to Norwich in the old Second Division. And with our transfer embargo and the unsettling takeover talks behind the scenes, perhaps its Lennie Lawrence that should be Parky's comparison instead of you know who.
Next up are Leyton Orient and after visiting the smallest ground in League One at Hartlepool, Brisbane Road, sorry Matchroom Stadium, is another of the five grounds with less than 10,000 capacity (along with Brighton, Exeter and Yeovil) and with nearly 3000 away tickets sold, we could be in the majority if Saturdays 4061 crowd is anything to go by.
So can we make it 3 League wins on the spin in the local derby? Manager at the O's is Geraint Williams who took over in February after the sacking of Martin Ling. After a short spell managing Colchester, his record at the O's is a credible 11 wins and 6 defeats in his 20 games in charge. And don't be a bit surprised if you see a little more banter than usual between the two opposing managers on Tuesday. For Williams it was that played assistant to Parky at the said Colchester during their amazing promotion to the Fizzies (Tier Two) in 2006 before Parkinson flew off on his disastrous six-month stint in charge of Hull City later that year.
The O's are currently 12th on 3 points and finished 14th last year with the lowest number of home wins in League One (6) and only Colchester and bottom club Hereford had more defeats at home than their 11. Not good at home then, as even the Addicks had 6 wins finishing bottom and had less defeats, 9.

So last seasons just below mid-table finish appears to have been down to their away form and so it proves with their 9 away victories. So perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised that the O's season has started with those two away wins at Bristol in the League and top of the table Colchester in the League Cup. A very good 2-1 away at Bristol Rovers on the opening day, (goals by Melligan and Smith), then another 2-1 away win at Colchester in the League Cup with goals by Patulea and Melligan.
But, once again it was their home form that let them down at the weekend losing 1-2 to Oldham after Oldham had lost their previous away game 0-1 to Carlisle.

Who Are Yeh?
One name may be familar and that's number 9, Scott McLeish. Back in 1994/95 he made 6 sub appearances for the Addicks. Then aged 20, he's now the same age as our Christian D and has been around a bit with the likes of Barnet, Colchester, Northampton and Wycombe for which he scored around 40 goals for each of them. Not got on the scoresheet yet for Orient, so expect one from him tomorrow.
They also have ex-Chelski starlet Jimmy Smith (number 20), who has finally given up on the Russians and their constant loan deals ( he's been at QPR, Wednesday, Norwich and Orient on loan) and has signed a permanent deal with the more exotically-named Orient. And keep an eye out for centreback number 5, Tamika Mkandawire from Malawi, last seasons player of the year.
There's four new boys in during the summer -McGleish, Chorley, Smith and number 23, Romanian striker Adrian (?) Patulea signed from League Two Lincoln.

Only 18 years in the same League mostly Division Two with the totals at Brisbane Road showing 5 wins, 6 draws, and 7 defeats. Our last League game against them at Brisbane Road was in the old Second Division back in October '81 when a 1-1 draw, our equaliser coming 2 minutes from time by Paul Elliott MBE - his only League goal for the club. That in a season that Orient were relegated.

But of late our record at Brisbane Rd has not been good. Of the last 10 games there, League and Cup, going back to 1971 we've only won once and that in 1976, 33 years ago. In fact of those last 20 games played over the last 40 years, the O's have got the better of us and have won 7 to our 6 with 7 draws.

The Team

There's no talk of injuries except the state of Llera's head wound that opened up again at the end of Saturdays game. With no 3rd choice central defender, he's sure to be patched up again and we should see another unchanged team side.

Elliot; Richardson, Llera, Dailly, Youga; Sam, Semedo, Racon, Shelvey, Bailey; Burton

My head says a tough local derby draw but as 2-1 seems to be Orient's favorite scoreline, how about another one but this time to the away side - a victory, then 2-1.

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