Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler praised his sides character after they fought back from 1-0 down to beat Portsmouth 3-2 on Saturday. In what was a pulsating Boxing Day clash saw both sides reduced to 10 men but it was Orient who grabbed all 3 points ahead of their trip to Bristol Rovers tomorrow.
- Orient’s away record – P11 W3 D5 L3
- Orient have only 1 win in their last 9 away league matches , drawing 5 and losing 3
Hessenthaler spoke to leytonorient.com yesterday “It was a terrific performance from the boys, we had to dig in very deep”. Captain Mathieu Baudry breathed a huge sigh of relief after he got himself sent off after reacting to a Michael Doyle challenge. Hessenthaler stated “we didn’t make it easy for ourselves, obviously Matty getting sent off, it was a silly thing to do, he knows that, it could have cost us the game but fair play to the players they dug in and showed a lot of character”.
Orient fell behind to another sloppy goal but Hessenthaler commended how his side battled back in the game, much to Portsmouth being reduced to 10 men. Orient’s assistant manager revealed “it was a tough start for us, we showed good character, we don’t like to see players sent off but that was the case. It gave us that little bit of impetus to kick on and get a bit of confidence”
- The win over Portsmouth was Orient’s first win in 14 matches after conceding the first goal
- It was also their only their second win from losing position in 25 home league matches (the other 3-1 victory over Port Vale 2015)
Ollie Palmer scored twice in the victory: his first league goals since mid August and the former Mansfield man is hoping to push on. Palmer scored twice in the FA cup in November but has been unable to find the net in the league. Palmer spoke to leytonorient.com yesterday “good things come in 2’s, I have had to be patient and very grateful today that I managed to get on the score sheet. Most importantly we got all 3 points”
- Palmer is second top goalscorer with 3 goals
- Jay Simpson has netted 17 of Orient’s 37 goals (46%) and Orient’s last 2 goals scored away from home
It was not all plain sailing for Orient who had to be thankful for Man of the Match Alex Cisak for preserving their first win in 5 matches. Palmer revealed that “I ran over to him at the end, he made some amazing saves, he did brilliant today”. Hessenthaler echoed Palmer’s comments “Alex made some fantastic saves, that’s what he is there for, the last line of the defence, if teams get through he is there to make the saves”.
- 17 of the 23 league games involving Orient, both teams have scored
- Orient have only kept 4 clean sheets in 23 league matches – only 1 in their 14 away matches in all competitions
- Including last season, Orient have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 18 away matches in all competitions (1-0 win at Morecambe)
Orient head to Bristol tomorrow for their second fixture in 3 days and Hessenthaler understands the importance of the victory yesterday, “it is always nice to get a win under the belt against a very good team, it was always going to be tough, hopefully it will give us a bit of confidence now, we are 6 unbeaten. We will patch them up again and hopefully get a result there”
- Only Wimbledon have drew more games away than Orient
- Orient have scored in their last 8 league away matches and 10 out of the 11 away league games (4-0 loss at Exeter)
- Record when scoring 1st – W8 D3 L2 – away – W3 D2 L2
- Only won 1 of their last 4 games when scoring first
- Conceding first – W1 D6 L3 – away – D3 L1
- Lost 9 of their last 15 away league matches when conceded first and not won in their last 9
At the halfway stage of the season, Orient sit just 1 point outside the playoffs and 7 points from third place. Palmer feels that his side have finally overcome a sticky spell and a run of results we see the right back up there. The striker stated “we have great players, Jobi, James, Payney, all good on the ball and create chances, we have just got to cut out these silly little goals”.
Palmer added “we will be fine, we have gone through a bit of a dip, got a small changing room at the moment with injuries and now suspensions. All teams will go through that but we haven’t lost too many games. Time to kick on and starting winning games and we will be right back up there”.
- Orient have fail to score 2 or more goals in their last 5 away games
- They have fail to win a game and score 2 or more goals since the 22nd August (3-2 win at Newport)
- Only Northampton (23) have scored more first half goals than Orient
- Orient have conceded 18 of their 31 goals in the last 15 minutes of halves, including 7 of their 18 away goals conceded
- Did you know… Only Northampton and Plymouth have led for minutes in matches this season that Leyton Orient
Rovers host Orient after a 0-0 draw away at Wimbledon on Boxing day, Wimbledon were reduced to 10 men early on but Darrell Clarke’s side were unable to break them down. Rovers sit in 5th position, 7 points off third place however Clarke knows that his side could have done better at Kingsmeadow.
- Record – P23 W11 D4 L8 F32 A24
- Home record – P11 W4 D1 L6 F13 A13
- 24 of their 37 points picked up on their travels
- Form in last 8 league matches – W4 D2 L2 F13 A6
- Only Oxford have conceded less in that period
- Last 5 at home (most recent first) – WWLWL
Clarke spoke to bristolrovers.co.uk yesterday “I’m disappointed, we never got our game going, bad decisions for the majority of the game. It was a scruffy game and we never really got going at all”. The Rovers boss thought his side didn’t do enough to prize open the 10 men of Wimbledon, “They lost a man early, put 10 men behind the ball but we never really looked like unlocking them, there was bad decisions on the ball but we will take the point and move on”.
- Rovers have failed to score in 6 games this season, 4 of them have been at home
- Scored in their last 5 at the Memorial Stadium
- Kept 8 clean sheets, only 3 at home but those 3 have come in their last 6 home games
- Rovers have only taken 13 points from a possible 33 against sides in the top half of the table
Rovers have been a surprise package in League 2 this year, but after carrying momentum from their promotion last season, the Rovers are flying high once more. Clarke is happy where his side lie in the table but knows that there is always room for improvement, “we are unbeaten in 5, 11 points in those games, we are never going to have everything go our way but we are in a great position half way through the season”
- There has been only 7 goals in the first half of matches at the Memorial Stadium this season
- 25 of their 32 goals scored have been in the second half, only Portsmouth have scored more (29)
- 10 of their 13 home goals scored have been in the second half
- No team has scored more times in the last 15 minutes of matches – 15 times
- Rovers would sit 13th if games lasted 75 minutes
- Only Carlise have gained more points than Rovers in the final 15 minutes of matches
Clarke is quick to point out that at the start of the season, Rovers were predicted to be nowhere the top aspects of the league and knows that his side have surprised a fair few onlookers, “there are a lot of good teams who have expectations to be in the top 7, we weren’t meant to be in that group, we have surprised a few. We want to push on, the players want to push on and we are coming through a key Christmas period, 4 points out of 2 games with 2 to play”
- Both teams have scored in less than half of their home games – 5 of 11 matches
- Record when they have scored 1st – W9 D1 home W3
- Rovers have only conceded 6 goals in games they have scored 1st
- Record when conceding 1st – W2 D1 L8 – home – W1 L6
- The last match they won at home they came from behind to win
- Matty Taylor is top scorer with 13 goals, 8 of them have been at home
- Taylor has hit 4 in his last 2 at home and 7 in his last 4 games at the Memorial Stadium
Midfielder Ollie Clarke was left frustrated as his side were unable to break down the Dons, however feels that they lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk post match, “we started hitting long balls, it played straight into their path, we didn’t have that little bit of cutting edge towards their final third and it cost us”. Despite the result, Clarke remained upbeat, “it is disappointing but then again look at the tale, point gained and moved up a few places. We need to carry on to build, hopefully we can pull along to top of the table”.
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall is set to continue after making his first start since August against Wimbledon. Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Parkes, Stuart Sinclair and Rory Gaffney are all pushing for recalls after dropping to the bench at Kingsmeadow on Boxing Day.
Darrell Clarke knows that it will be a tough game for his side, “Orient got a great result against Portsmouth, they certainly were expected to win the league let alone be in the top 7. Ian has come in for a bit of flack but as a manager not given enough time to turn around bad spells. I am sure Ian was delighted with the result and the players will be confident after their win”.
Orient are set to be without Mathieu Baudry after his red card in the win over Portsmouth while Sammy Moore, Dean Cox and Paul McCallum remain sidelined through injury. Lloyd James will have to pass a late fitness test to play after missing the boxing day game with an ankle problem.
Andy Hessenthaler is hoping Orient can continue their recent unbeaten record in Bristol on Monday, “we got to Bristol full of confidence and hopefully we can get the result their”.
Head to Head – Bristol Rovers 44, Draw 27, Leyton Orient 40
- Last meeting – 29/08/2015 – Leyton Orient 2-0 Bristol Rovers
- Orient have won the last 6 meetings between the sides
- Rovers last won in 2008 when they did the double over Orient, winning both games 2-1
- The O’s have scored 19 goals in the last 6 matches, averaging over 3 goals a game
Prediction – Bristol Rovers 1-2 Leyton Orient