Managerless Leyton Orient will face another huge test when they welcome table-toppers Dover Athletic to Brisbane Road in the Vanarama National League this Saturday.
The O’s parted company with Steve Davis on Tuesday having gone 11 league games without a victory. They sit 19th in the table with 19 points, just three off the relegation zone. Assistant coach Ross Embleton and goalkeeper coach Dean Brill will oversee first team duties whilst the club search for a new manager.
Difference in Form
In their last outing, the O’s fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at play-off chasers Ebbsfleet United. Andy Drury put the hosts ahead on six minutes with a close-range tap in, before Danny Kedwell nodded home five minutes before half-time to double the hosts’ lead. James Dayton’s impressive strike pulled a goal back for the O’s with three minutes left, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from slipping to their 10th defeat this season.
In contrast, Dover Athletic are flying high at the top of the National League and dreaming of promotion to the Football League. They have won 10 of their 19 games this season, drawing six and losing just three.
Chris Kinnear’s side won 2-0 at home to Eastleigh last time out with goals from James Alabi, who is on loan from Tranmere Rovers until January, and Connor Essam giving the Whites a one-point lead over their nearest rivals Macclesfield Town in second.
The Kent side have taken 36 points from a possible 57 this season, boasting a superior goal difference of 14. They will be looking to exploit Orient’s poor run of form to extend their lead at the National League summit.
Ones to Watch
Zain Westbrooke has started Orient’s last three games in the centre of midfield. The 21-year-old joined the O’s on a 93-day loan from Brentford back in October, earning his first start in the 2-2 draw with Wrexham on October 28th. He appears calm and collected in the midfield, shows physicality in the tackle and has a good range of passing.
For Dover, striker Ryan Bird became joint top scorer in the National League with a first-half brace in the Whites’ 3-1 win over Woking, taking his tally for the season to nine. Bird joined the club from League Two Newport County in the summer, where he bagged six goals in 19 appearances for the Welsh club. Standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall, he has proven himself as an effective target man.
Previous Six Results:
|Ebbsfleet United 2-1 Leyton Orient||Dover Athletic 2-0 Eastleigh|
|Gillingham 2-1 Orient (FA Cup)||Gateshead 0-0 Dover|
|Wrexham 2-2 Orient||Dover 3-1 Woking|
|Orient 0-2 Gateshead||Dover 1-1 Maidenhead United|
|Orient 0-1 Macclesfield Town||Bromley 3-0 Dover (FA Cup)|
|Orient 1-0 Dagenham and Redbridge (FA Cup)||Dover 0-0 Bromley|
Stats and Facts:
Orient have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league since August 28th, a run that stretches over 12 matches.
The O’s have lost 10 of their 19 league matches this season, only Torquay United (12) and Solihull Moors (14) have lost more.
Orient’s last goal at Brisbane Road came in the FA Cup fourth round of qualifying replay against Dagenham and Redbridge. They have failed to score there in the league since the 2-1 defeat to AFC Fylde on September 30th.
Dover are unbeaten in their last nine league matches, their last defeat being at home to Boreham Wood on September 12th.
The Whites have kept five clean sheets in their nine matches away from home this season.
Chris Kinnear’s men have lost just once on their travels in the league this season, a 1-0 defeat to Macclesfield Town on August 25th.
This will be the first time that these two sides have crossed paths, having not met previously. It will be an interesting encounter between two sides who need a victory for very different reasons.
Did you know?
Dover manager Chris Kinnear managed the club from 1985-95, a 10 year spell which saw him guide the Whites to the top tier of non-league football. Since re-joining the club in January 2013, Kinnear has enjoyed another lengthy stint in charge and will be looking to replicate his past successes with the Kent side.
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 from both clubs’ Twitter accounts. (@leytonorientfc and @DAFCLiveText)
You can check out BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Kent for updates, and match reports will be available after the game on both clubs’ official websites.