Leyton Orient midfielder James Brophy insists his side will be fully focused when they host AFC Telford in the FA Trophy Semi Final on Saturday. The O’s sit top of the National League, three points clear but with Wembley in sight, the 24 year old is keen to continue their fine form. Speaking to the O’s Show “the gaffer has always stressed it’s a cup that we’re in to win. It’s a good distraction, we’ve got good momentum from the last few results. We hope to carry it through to the cup then get back to the league afterwards”.
- Won their last five games in all competitions
- Only lost one of their last nine games – W7 D1 L1
- 30 League places between sides
The O’s maintained top spot with a 2-1 victory at Aldershot on Tuesday. A brace from center back Josh Coulson set them on their way before a Scott Rendell penalty made the closing stages edgy but they hung on for victory. Head coach Justin Edinburgh was thrilled with the three points but admitted to leytonorient.com “we’re not making it easy for ourselves, which is a concern. We’re obviously delighted with the three points but the ending to our last three away games is not how we wanted to finish games, so it’s something we have to address”.
Telford will be the third side from National League North Orient would have faced in the trophy. The O’s had to come from behind at Brackley in the previous round and Edinburgh is fully aware of the challenge that the Bucks will bring on Saturday. Speaking to Non-League Paper “we go into it fully prepared and understanding of the difficulty of the game. We’d never ever be complacent or disrespectful. We’re only one league above them”.
- Kept 18 clean sheets this season (12 at home)
- Kept just one in last seven games (1-0 Wrexham, 09/03/2019)
- Kept three in their four Trophy games this season
- Kept four in their last six home games
Saturday’s clash with Telford will be Orient’s fifth game of a hectic month. After playing in midweek, defender Marvin Ekpiteta is keen to continue their winning run against the Bucks and has urged the fans to push them onto Wembley. Speaking to East London Advertiser “we will need the fans in the next two legs then hopefully for the final if we get there. Playing Saturday, Tuesday is good because it can help you build momentum and the way we are going, we just need to keep going”.
- Failed to score in nine games all season
- Scored in last five games (10 in total)
- Scored in eight of their last nine games
- Scored in three of their last four home games
- Scored two or more goals in four of their last five games
With the Semi final settled over two legs, Edinburgh is keen for his side to use home advantage to hopefully take a lead with them next weekend. The O’s have seen sides sit deep when they visit the Breyer Group Stadium this season and it could be a similar story tomorrow. Speaking to Non-League Paper “being at home first, we’ll look to take an advantage away, I guess Gavin will be saying to them ‘make sure you’ll in the tie”. He added “I think you have to be mindful that it is not won or lost in the first leg”.
- Home Record this Season – P20 W13 D4 L3 F35 A11
- Won three of their last four
- Unbeaten in last five home cup games – W4 D1
- Last defeat – 09/08/2016 – Leyton Orient 2-3 Fulham (EFL Cup)
- Only lost two of their last 13 home games – W9 D2 L2
Edinburgh is no stranger to FA Trophy progress after being a losing finalist with Newport County back in 2012. Despite Orient’s tilt focus on promotion, the 49 year old is maintaining his aim to win the Trophy. Speaking to Non-League Paper “I said to the players at the start of the season that it was a competition that we can realistically had a look at winning. We’re two games away now. I’ve always said that for me as a manager in the conference, it’s been a good competition and one I’ve always enjoyed”.
Midfielder Jordan Maguire-Drew is out with a calf injury alongside defender Myles Judd. Striker Jay Simpson is out with a hamstring strain so Matt Harrold should keep his place. James Dayton should play a part after returning from injury at Aldershot while Josh Koroma should be involved in the squad.
Last Time Out – 12/03/2019 – Aldershot 1-2 Leyton Orient
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-1 AFC Telford