Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is hoping his sides two week break without a fixture will not affect them tomorrow. Orient’s game at FC Halifax last week was postponed due to a frozen pitch leaving the O’s without a competitive fixture since 13th January.
- Sit 19th on 32 points – five above the relegation zone
- League Record – P29 W8 D8 L13 F35 A42
- One defeat in their last eight
- Form in last six – W2 D3 L1
Since Edinburgh’s arrival in E10, the O’s have lost just two of nine fixtures under the former Gillingham man. Speaking to leytonorient.com “it’s been too long, when we had that lull there is no guarantee to pick up where you left off. We’ve tried to make training as intense as we can, making sure we are fully prepared to try and pick up our stride against Aldershot”.
Edinburgh has seen a drastic improvement since his arrival and is setting his sights on moving into mid table. Speaking to BBC London “The gap is not where we want it to be but we feel we are in a better position. Our ambitions between now and the end of February, start of March is to get ourselves around top 12, if we can do that, we can assess again”.
Goalkeeper Dean Brill has been Orient’s number one since Edinburgh’s arrival with the O’s having the best defensive record in the League since the start of December. Speaking to leytonorient.com Brill stated “it’s down to hard work, pure hard work, we went through a rough spell before Gaffer came in. He changed a bit of mentality at the training ground and it’s coming out in the games we are playing”.
- Conceded just three goals in seven league games
- Kept seven league clean sheets (three at home)
- Kept two in last three games and four in their last six
- Kept two in last three home games
Orient played a friendly against Haringey Borough in midweek which helped some of the fringe players gain some minutes with Edinburgh stating it was a worth while exercise. “It was really useful, a lot of positives and it went to plan. We thank Haringey for the opportunity to get minutes into players”.
- Home League Record – P15 W5 D4 L6 F21 A18
- Only lost one of their last six – W2 D3 L1
- Defeat vs Bromley, 1-0, 30/12/17
- Failed to score in last two games
- Only conceded two in four games under Edinburgh
The O’s have not scored in the league since Boxing Day and Edinburgh knows it will be tough tomorrow against a high flying Aldershot. Speaking to leytonorient.com “every game we have here at home is someone from the top five or six. They are good games to play in, another test to see where we are at and one we look forward to. It is about us going to implement ourselves at home with crowd”.
- Failed to score in ten league games
- Only scored in one of their last four games
- Scored 22/35 league goals in second half – 11 in final 15 minutes
- Nine of 11 under Edinburgh have been in second half
- 13/16 goals scored have been in second half
Gary Waddock’s Aldershot side arrive in Leyton looking to extend their six match unbeaten run. The Shots sit second, just three points off top spot and will be hoping to add to their points tally at Brisbane Road tomorrow. Waddock’s side failed to take advantage of Macclesfield defeat at AFC Fylde last weekend as they could only draw 0-0 at home to Ebbsfleet.
- 2nd on 52 points
- League Record – P30 W14 D10 L6 F46 A30
- Only lost two in their last 13 games – W7 D4 L2
Aldershot’s exit in the FA Trophy in December meant that last weekend’s fixture with Ebbsfleet was their first in two weeks. Speaking to theshots.co.uk Waddock felt the inflicted break didn’t help his side “I don’t think we did enough to win the game, If I am honest with our weekend off last week, it has stopped a little bit of our momentum if you like. It showed today we didn’t have a game last week”.
- Only one of their 14 wins has been by more than two goals – 6-0 vs Guiseley, 12/08/17
- 43/52 points have been picked up when scoring first
- Only Wrexham and Dover have conceded less away from home than Aldershot
On loan goalkeeper Lewis Ward took some positives from the draw, speaking to theshots.co.uk “we can’t win every game, it was important we didn’t lose today, we closed the gap slightly. We have still got to play them (Macclesfield). It’s important we stay focused and positive. We couldn’t score but the clean sheet helps and we are still unbeaten”.
- Kept 11 league clean sheets
- Seven away – only Halifax (8) have kept more
- 0-0 with Ebbsfleet was first clean sheet in eight games
- No clean sheet in last four away games but kept three in a row before them
- Last clean sheet away – 02/12/17 0-0 vs Torquay
Assistant manager James Rowe felt the Shots were too patchy last weekend and is hoping they can put it a more consistent performance against Orient. The draw with Ebbsfleet was their first game in six they failed to find the net in and Rowe thinks he knows what was lacking. Speaking to theshots.co.uk “we didn’t have that final product or pass or shot or cross, it let us down. That was the most disappointing thing for the fans is that we got into positive positions to hurt them but we didn’t quite do that”.
- Failed to score in six league games (three away)
- Scored in last three away games and five of last seven away
- Last failed to score away – 4-0 loss East Thurrock, FA Trophy, 16/12/17
- Fourth highest league scorers behind – Fylde 51, Bromley 50, Dagenham 47
The Shots finished in 5th spot last season but lost in the play offs but Rowe is keen for his side to finish higher this season, “you have to realise where we have come from in the last 18 months, we were challenging at the top last year and we are there again, anything can happen”.
- Taken 16/27 away points against bottom half sides – W4 D4 L1
- Defeat 3-1 at Barrow, 28/10/17
Aldershot blew a two goal lead at home to Orient back in September but with the O’s under new management Rowe is expecting a good game tomorrow afternoon,”they have picked up a little bit and had a couple of draws recently. It’s never an easy place to go, they are an ex league club with a big reputation so it should be a cracking game”.
- 12/46 league goals scored have been in the final 15 minutes of games
- 7/20 away goals after 76th minute
- They have gained eight points in that period
With the third best away record in the League, the Shots have sold over 700 away tickets for the clash at Brisbane Road with Rowe stating, “the away support has been outstanding this year, where ever we have been it’s been impressive”. He added “we travel strong , the sessions have been great with a real buzz. We go in positive, just three points off the top”.
- Only Macclesfield (29) and Sutton (27) taken more points away than Aldershot (26)
- Away League Record – P15 W7 D5 L3
- Unbeaten in last three – W2 D1
- Only lost one in last seven away games – W4 D2 L1 (defeat 4-0 East Thurrock, FA Trophy, 16/12/17)
- Only lost one of last eight away league games – W4 D3 L1 (3-1 loss at Barrow, 28/10/17)
Alex Lawless, James Dayton and Josh Coulson are all set to be involved after missing the FA Trophy win over Bognor Regis. Defender Joe Widdowson begins his two match suspension following his second red card of the season. Dan Holman will be pushing for a start after being ineligible at Bognor while Lamar Reynolds and Ebou Adams will be hoping to keep their places in the starting 11.
Aldershot could include new signings Josh McQuoid who joined on loan from Luton till the end of the season and Adam McDonnell who re-joined on a 18 month contract. Skipper Callum Reynolds who is out while James Blanchfield returned to Ipswich following an injury.
Prediction – Leyton Orient Aldershot