The Reds are back on home soil tomorrow afternoon, as we face tenth-placed Leyton Orient, after our 3-1 defeat at Cambridge United in our last league game on Saturday. In our last meeting with the O’s, the Reds ran out 1-2 victors at The Breyer Group Stadium, as Max Watters poked in after a great ball across from Ashley Nadesan. Sam Matthews the scorer of the first.
Tomorrow’s opposition, Leyton Orient, have had a very up and down start to the season. Not finishing with a draw since October, the O’s have often gone on both winning and losing streaks. In their last two fixtures, Orient have not picked up a point or scored a goal, losing out 0-1 to Forest Green and 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers.
However, before this recent short slump, they kept three consecutive home clean sheets in three impressive victories, beating Southend United 2-0, Salford City 1-0, and high-flying Morecambe 2-0.
In our last fixture, we lost our long unbeaten record in the league, losing out to a strong Cambridge side who sit at the top of the table. Jake Hessenthaler netted his first for the Reds to temporarily equalise in the game after a well-worked move that included Sam Matthews and Tom Nichols. However, later goals from Kyle Knoyle and Wes Hoolahan sealed the deal for Cambridge.
Crawley have only suffered two defeats at home in the league this season, with both coming within the same week against Carlisle United and Grimsby Town, back in November.
Since September of 2012, in a total of twelve competitive fixtures, the match-ups between the two sides have never ended in a draw, with Crawley winning on nine occasions, and Orient on four.
Last season’s 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.
Forward Daniel Johnson has scored fourteen league goals this season, and is joint-second in the goalscoring charts for League Two, behind Cambridge’s Paul Mullin who has netted eighteen. However, Johnson has not featured in Orient’s last three fixtures, meaning he could be unavailable tomorrow.
Ruel Sotirou could be the man to replace Johnson up top, and has started in Orient’s last three games, failing to find the back of the net. Conor Wilkinson is another goal threat from out wide, often playing in an advanced role within a front three. The forward has scored seven times in the league this campaign.
Ousseynou Cisse sits in the heart of the midfield for Leyton Orient, often protecting the backline with support from creative midfielders such as Craig Clay and Jobi McAnuff.
Daniel Happe and Josh Coulson have been the main centre-back partnership this season for tomorrow’s hosts, but the recent emergence of loan-signing Olatunji Akinola could mean that the defender starts for the sixth consecutive game, after keeping three clean sheets on the bounce before the two recent defeats.
Reece Grego-Cox and Henry Burnett are unavailable. Ex-Orient lad Josh Wright is available and Jordan Maguire-Drew is ruled out due to the loan agreement. Jake Hesketh and Ashley Nadesan are back in contention.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 6/5
Leyton Orient 2/1
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 18:50 with coverage from Gary Smith and Tony Vessey. You can purchase a match pass for £10 by clicking here.