Leyton Orient will be wanting to build on their recent FA Trophy progression when they return to National League action against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
The O’s come into the match in 17th place with 35 points, five clear of the relegation zone. They have played 31 games this season winning nine, drawing eight, and losing 14 with a goal difference of -7.
Justin Edinburgh’s side will be full of confidence having seen off Dover Athletic in a thrilling FA Trophy encounter at The Crabble last weekend. George Elokobi, Macauley Bonne and Matt Harrold gave Orient a 3-0 lead before a Ryan Bird brace and Mitch Pinnock goal levelled the tie at 3-3. However, David Mooney hit a stoppage time winner to secure the O’s a place in the Fourth Round.
Orient were dealt a major injury blow this week, with midfielder James Dayton likely to miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. Although, on a more positive note the O’s made two additions to their squad on transfer deadline day.
22-year-old defender Marvin Ekpiteta joined from East Thurrock United, putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal before returning to the Rocks for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, midfielder James Brophy returned to the club on a permanent two-and-a-half year deal from Swindon Town, having enjoyed a loan spell with the O’s earlier this season.
As for Tranmere, they make the four-hour trip from Merseyside on good form having gone five league matches unbeaten.
Rovers come into the game in fourth place with 54 points from 32 games. They have won 15, drawn nine, and lost eight with a goal difference of 21.
Micky Mellon’s side will be in good spirits having seen off Ebbsfleet United in their last league outing at Prenton Park. Andy Cook opened the scoring on 16 minutes, before a James Norwood brace ensured Tranmere moved to within a point of third placed Aldershot Town.
Ones to Watch
Orient defender George Elokobi has scored two goals in his last three appearances for the O’s. The 32-year old Cameroonian has made an immediate impact since making his return from injury against Bognor Regis in the FA Trophy Second Round. He is strong, powerful and a physical presence at the back for Orient and will need to be at his best to restrict Tranmere’s attacking threat.
Meanwhile, midfielder James Brophy will receive a warm welcome from the O’s faithful having joined the club on a permanent basis on deadline day. He spent three months on loan at Orient from September to December. A versatile player who can adapt to different positions, Brophy is direct and pacey with good close control and will be keen to impress new boss Justin Edinburgh.
For Tranmere, striker James Norwood hit a landmark achievement of 50 goals for Rovers with his first strike against Ebbsfleet at the weekend. Norwood is the club’s joint highest goal scorer with 14 goals this season, and he will be in the mood to add to that impressive tally.
|Dover Athletic 3-4 Leyton Orient (FA Trophy)||Tranmere Rovers 3-0 Ebbsfleet United|
|FC Halifax Town 1-2 Orient||Wrexham 2-2 Tranmere|
|Orient 2-3 Aldershot Town||Tranmere 3-2 Maidenhead United|
|Bognor Regis Town 1-2 Orient (FA Trophy)||Woking 0-1 Tranmere|
|Orient 0-0 Boreham Wood||Barrow 1-1 Tranmere|
|Dagenham and Redbridge 0-0 Orient||AFC Fylde 5-2 Tranmere|
Stats and Facts
Orient have taken five points from 12 available in the National League during January with one win, one loss, and two draws.
The O’s have scored two or more goals in their last four matches in league and cup, having failed to score in three consecutive matches prior to that.
Top scorer Macauley Bonne has scored four goals in his last four games for Orient in league and cup.
Tranmere have taken five points from 12 available on their travels in 2018 with one win, one loss, and two draws.
Rovers have scored in each of their four away league games since the turn of the year, netting six in total.
However, they have conceded eight goals in that time and kept just one clean sheet, the 1-0 victory over Woking on January 13th.
157 Orient fans made the long journey up to Birkenhead on Wednesday 4th October when the O’s lost 2-1 to Tranmere at Prenton Park in front of the television cameras.
Orient took the lead on 22 minutes thanks to Matt Harrold, but Tranmere quickly responded through Andy Cook three minutes later. With twenty minutes left, the hosts snatched a winner when James Norwood headed home to secure all three points for Rovers.
Speaking to Rising East whilst fulfilling his club duties in the community this week, striker David Mooney said:
“I think for us it’s going to be a big game, obviously they’re in a good bit of form and they’re up the top. Our form has obviously improved of late, it’s going to be a tough game.
“At the start of the season when I looked at this game I thought it would probably be two of the top seven, but unfortunately we havn’t fulfilled our potential. Hopefully we can go out Saturday, show what we’re all about, and get three points closer to where we need to be.”
When and Where?
The match will take place this Saturday 10th February at Brisbane Road, the home of Leyton Orient, with kick-off at 3pm.
Missing the Match
Don’t worry if you cannot make the match this weekend. If you are on social media, you can follow live updates on the game via both clubs Twitter accounts (@leytonorientfc and @TranmereRovers)
Also, match reports will be available on both teams’ official websites after the game.