The Orient Hour’s Chris Hood looks ahead to the match…
Orient host Barnet tomorrow in an eagerly anticipated MANarama National League match (kick off 3pm), with both sides in blistering form.
Orient return to E10 off of the back of last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Halifax, James Alabi scoring a late, late equaliser to maintain The O’s unbeaten start to the season. In fact, Orient are one of only two sides to boast a unbeaten record after the opening 10 National League games, the other being league leaders Harrogate Town, two places and two points above the hosts.
After drawing their first two home games this season, Orient have won their last three, against Boreham Wood, Dover and Solihull, scoring seven and keeping three clean sheets. In fact, The O’s have conceded only seven goals this season and have been productive at the other end of the pitch, scoring 16, nine of which have come in the last 15 minutes of matches.
Visitors Barnet sit 9th in the table, three points behind Orient, but with goal difference inferior to the tune of 10. The Bees have won their previous five, scoring seven and conceding only two, with three clean sheets. They have conceded at a rate of a goal a game, scoring nine, and arrive off the back of a 1-0 win at home to Maidenhead last weekend, a 4th minute goal from Summer signing Josh Walker earning the points.
Relegated from League Two last season, The Bees appointed experienced campaigner, and former O, John Still as boss and have started their campaign with three wins, a draw and a loss on the road.
Barnet are undefeated in their three previous competitive games with The O’s. The sides last met in January 2017 in League Two as the visitors won 3-1 at Brisbane Road, Paul McCallum scoring Orient’s consolation.
James Brophy has trained with the O’s this week on return from injury, with Sam Ling also taking his first steps back out on the training field. Dale Gorman returns from International duty with Northern Ireland U21s and will slot back into the Orient squad.
George Elokobi is still unavailable with a torn hamstring but is expected to be available in a few weeks time.
Barnet boss John Still started his football career at Orient as a youth, his senior career sadly being curtailed by injury, but he isn’t the only familiar face.
Barnet assistant Darren Currie spent time on loan with The O’s in 1995 and forward Shaq Coulthirst has also spent time on loan at E10.
Dean Brill made 30 league appearances for Barnet after joining from Oldham in 2011, helping to save The Bees from relegation.
Joe Widdowson and Sam Ling could also potentially come up against their former boss.
LAST TIME OUT
FC Halifax 1-1 Orient, National League, Saturday 8th September
ORIENT: Brill, Judd, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Widdowson, Dayton (Alabi 81), Clay (Harrold 76), Lee, McAnuff, Bonne Koroma
Subs (not used): Sargeant, Lawless, Happe
Barnet 1-0 Maidenhead United, National League, Saturday 8th September
BARNET: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Robson, Adams, Harrison, J. Taylor, Fonguck (Mason-Clark 79), Walker, (Kyei 83), Sweeney, Payne (Box 90)
Subs (not used): Azaze, Sparkes
PREDICTED ORIENT TEAM
Subs: Sargeant, Happe, Gorman, Alabi, Harrold
AROUND THE LEAGUE (ALL 3PM)
AFC Fylde vs Aldershot Town
Boreham Wood vs Barrow
Bromley vs Salford City
Dagenham & Redbridge vs Chesterfield
Dover Athletic vs Solihull Moors
Gateshead vs Braintree Town
Hartlepool United vs Eastleigh
Havant & Waterlooville vs Sutton United
Maidenhead United vs FC Halifax Town
Maidstone United vs Harrogate Town
Wrexham vs Ebbsfleet United