David Ironmonger previews Leyton Orient’s under-18s second half of the season.
The Youth Alliance leagues begun their second half of the season last Saturday, and Leyton Orient under-18s will be looking to finish the campaign strongly. They now take on the top six within their own league, and also combine with the top six from the South West division to take part in Merit League 1.
After finishing the season with back-to-back wins against Stevenage and Milton Keynes Dons, the young O’s put to bed some demons with a great 1-0 win over South East rivals Luton Town to take the early advantage. Luton had dominated the South East division, finishing top with an 11-point lead over Southend in second, and 12 points ahead of Orient. Their team was built on the prowess of their defending ability as they only conceded 15 goals all year.
Some long and challenging away days are to come for Orient, with Portsmouth and Exeter City possible overnight trips, while a third match against Southend at their training ground should provide a fantastic decider with both teams claiming a win once this season.
Away from home the team needs to shore up defensively, conceding a whopping 17 goals away from the Whitbreads Sports Ground, compared to only four goals at home. Currently the team is playing with a makeshift back four, but centre back and vocal leader Aron Pollock has been in fine form commanding his defence while also chipping in with the winning goal at Luton.
At the other end of the pitch scoring goals hasn’t been an issue. Christian Owusu, who started the season with five goals in four games, has already taken his tally to 11, while Josh Koroma who can be deployed as winger, centre attacking midfielder or striker, has bagged himself eight. Rian Mclean who has been covering for the lack of defensive cover has six. All three work extremely well feeding off powerful striker Victor Adeboyejo.
An injection of talent has come to the team in the name of Sam Dalby, signed eight weeks ago from Buckhurst Boys, he’s been able to slot into the side without any complications, impressing week after week and finding the goals on a regular basis.
Orient should be considered one of the favourites for the new combined league, as they boast one of the tightest defensive records and are one of the most in-form teams this season.