Match Preview: Leyton Orient (A)
EFL League Two
The Matchroom Stadium
Saturday, January 7, 2016 – KO 3pm
Team News: Rossi Eames and Henry Newman will be without long-term absentees Michael Gash (knee), Shaun Batt (hamstring), Ben Tomlinson (quad) and James Pearson (knee).
Physiotherapist Luigi Cerullo delivered a fitness update earlier this week, available by clicking here.
Last Time We Met: The two teams only met at the beginning of October at The Hive London with the match ending in a forgettable 0-0 draw.
Chances were few and far between for both sides with Luke Gambin’s low drive the highlight of the first half for the Bees.
Sam Togwell had a firm effort pushed away by Alex Cisak in the second half but neither side could find a way through.
Manager: Andy Edwards, 45, was in caretaker charge of the O’s when the east Londoners visited The Hive three months ago.
Since then Italian boss Alberto Cavasin has been appointed and promptly sacked before Edwards was given the job on a full-time basis, becoming Orient’s third permanent manager this season.
A central defender during his playing career, Edwards began his career at West Ham United and turned out for Southend United and Peterborough United with distinction before retiring in 2007.
Edwards moved to E10 in 2009 becoming Youth Team manager. He would later became Academy Director in 2011 and stepped into a first-team previously to assist interim boss Kevin Nugent in 2014.
Dangerman: In a season of struggle for the O’s it is the goal of Ollie Palmer which have helped keep the club above the relegation zone.
The powerful forward has five league goals to his name this term with his strikes helping earn seven points for Orient.
He moved to The Matchroom Stadium from Mansfield Town last season after a profitable spell with Grimsby in the second half of the 2014/15 campaign – a stint which saw him score against the Bees at Blundell Park.
However, after rattling in eight goals in just 15 starts for Grimsby, Palmer struggled with the step-up to League Two and scored just one league goal before Christmas.
A Boxing Day brace in a stunning 3-2 win over Portsmouth paved the way for a better second half of the season and he finished the campaign with nine goals in all competitions.
Connections: Bees legend Ian Hendon has played for and managed both clubs. Most recently the tough-tackling former defender was Orient boss with his first game coming against Barnet last term.
However, after a flying start the O’s former went south and Hendon was relieved of his duties in January 2016.
As a player Hendon turned out 158 times in black and amber, captaining the Bees to the Football Conference title before becoming manager in December 2008.
Current Bees striker Shaun Batt moved to The Hive London from Orient last season, along with Kevin Lisbie.
Batt, who is currently injured, helped the O’s reach the 2014 League One Play-Off Final before leaving E10 a year later after 77 outings for the club.
Former Charlton Athletic and Jamaica striker Lisbie was a crowd favourite at The Matchroom Stadium but left Barnet after just four substitute outings due to injury problems. He was also part of the O’s side which lost in the League One Play-Off Final.
Goalkeeper Lee Harrison 265 appearances as a Bee in his first spell between 1996 and 2003, winning the club’s Player of the Year gong three times.
He made 67 appearances for Orient across two spells before returning to Underhill in 2006, adding a further 98 games to his record.
Last Time Out: Orient suffered their third successive away day defeat as they were crushed 4-0 by Exeter City at St James’ Park on Monday.
David Wheeler fired the hosts ahead after just four minutes when he touched home from a deft header into his path.
Ryan Harley doubled the Grecians’ lead five minutes into the second half, poking home Wheeler’s cross from the right-hand side.
And Harley, making his first start since September, added a third in the 65th minute. Ollie Watkins was fouled inside the box and Harley duly dispatched the penalty.
Substitute Liam McAlinden completed the rout in the 82nd minute, latching onto Robbie Simpson’s pass and slotted past Alex Cisak.
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Cisak; Judd, Erichot, Parkes, Hunt; Massey, Collins, Atangana, Kennedy; Palmer, McCallum.
Ticket info: Supporters can buy tickets for tomorrow’s match at The Matchroom Stadium. Full information is available here.