A second half goal from summer signing Bradley Pritchard was enough to see off Northampton in Orient’s 3rd pre season game. New signings Adam Legizins and Bradley Pricthard started in a traditional 4-4-2 formation for the O’s with Cuthbert, Baudry, Clarke and Sawyer at the back, Pritchard, Bartley, Vincelot and Cox with Mooney and Dagnall up front. In a slow game chances were at a premium , Cox volleyed over twice in the first half on both occasions should have done better. The O’s were never put under true pressure in the game with defence looking quite solid after a shaky start.
Pritchard’s first goal for the O’s came with a fast paced move down the right hand side, James playing at right back after Cuthbert was replaced at half time played the ball down the channel finding Lisbie who laid off to Cox. Cox played a delicate ball in the channel finding Dagnall who reversed the ball to Pritchard who curled a left footed shot in the far post. After the goal, the game opened up more with Orient looking to exploit the space with Cox, Dagnall and Pritchard all having chances but failing to convert. Dagnall tireless running nearly created a chance at the back pressurizing Duke but the ball fell kindly to the Cobbler’s keeper.
Sawyer got caught out of positions on several occasions with Clarke and Baudry both having to cover but apart from that Orient were rarely troubled. Going forward, Dagnall was always looking for the ball in the channels, but the O’s lacked creativity in the final third with no-one really able to find that killer pass. Pritchard looked more comfortable in a central role when Batt came on, having more of an influence. Typical Lisbie held the ball up and showed quality touches and experience which Mooney was lacking throughout. McAnuff will add experience and the ability to find the killer ball when he comes in. The center midfielders seems to work that you either play Bartley or Vincelot and James or Pritchard. Bartley and Vincelot are ball winners but on yesterday’s performance lack the cutting edge to create a chance for the strikers. I think we will see more against QPR on tuesday and Ipswich on Saturday of what Slade’s first 11 will be in the opening fixture of the season on 9th August vs Chesterfield. The most important thing is the players getting minutes, experience of playing together and match fitness to be raring to go for the season.