Leyton Orient vs Crawley Town, Sky Bet League Two match twenty
The Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Rd, London E10 5NF
Saturday 11 December
Click here for all the ticket information.
Leyton Orient are a side on fire as of late under Kenny Jackett, sitting in the play-off spot of seventh after a gradual rise up the league table. Orient head into Saturday’s clash on the back of two home thrashings, against tough opposition in Tranmere and Swindon.
Jackett’s side put four goals past both teams, with 4-0 and 4-1 victories. Giant striker Harry Smith netted a brace in both games, with his strike partner Aaron Drinan scoring three. Orient managed to defeat now fifth-placed Swindon Town in style on Tuesday, despite only sharing 38% of possession.
Kenny Jackett has instilled a 3-5-2 formation in East London, a popular set-up now in League Two, with high-flying Forest Green and Swindon using the same shape. In league competition, Orient have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five games, but have scored eleven times.
ONES TO WATCH
Harry Smith - Forward
Harry Smith is a player who has come alive under Kenny Jackett, scoring thirteen goals so far this season. The striker stands at 1.96m and is a real aerial threat, converting with his head six times since August.
Smith first established himself in the men’s game at Macclesfield Town three years ago at the age of 23, after being released by Millwall. He scored nine goals in the 2018/19 season for the Silkmen, earning a move to Northampton Town. Smith struggled for goals at the Cobblers, scoring six times over two seasons in claret, also spending five games on loan at Motherwell where he failed to convert.
This summer Harry moved to London where he has fit in extremely well under Jackett, often being paired with strike partner Aaron Drinan, who has also scored ten league goals - a partnership on fire in recent games.
Omar Beckles - Defender
Omar Beckles is Orient’s captain, and tends to sit in the heart of the three-man O’s defence. The skipper has already scored three times in the league this season from centre-half, including a goal against Tranmere in a 4-0 win last weekend.
Beckles is also a Grenada international, and has played alongside Crawley’s Ricky German for the Caribbean country. The defender has played seven times for Grenada, including starts in this year’s Gold Cup.
He was signed from Crewe Alexandra in the summer of this year, and was given captain duties by Kenny Jackett due to his football league experience. Before spending last season at Crewe, Beckles has played for Accrington and Shrewsbury.
Since September of 2012, in a total of fourteen competitive fixtures, the match-ups between the two sides have only ended in one draw, with Crawley winning on nine occasions, and Orient on five.
Our 2019/20 trip to The Breyer Group Stadium was one of our favourite away days in recent years, on a bright summer’s afternoon in August of 2019. The game ended 3-2 to Gabriele Cioffi’s Crawley after second-half substitute, Ollie Palmer, was quick to score twice to turn the game on its head in a matter of minutes.
The meeting previous to this finished 3-0 to Crawley at The People’s Pension Stadium, in a season where the O’s were later relegated to the National League. First-half goals from James Collins, Joe McNerney and Enzio Boldewijn were enough to seal the victory in a rampant opening 45 minutes, in a game where the likes of Kaby Djalo, Josh Yorwerth and Andre Blackman were all involved.
Last season saw another special away victory in East London, as Max Watters’ 82nd minute strike secured three points for Crawley in a terrific away performance. Sam Matthews opened the scoring as his cross into the area was not met and was deflected into the net, before Tom Dallison unfortunately put the ball into his net just before half-time.
The reverse fixture in February ended goalless, as Tom Nichols missed an early penalty and the Reds failed to capitalise on a first-half Hector Kyprianou red card, despite a positive performance.
Leyton Orient 4/6
*Correct as of SkyBet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.