Date: 1st January 2006 at 3:34pm
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Orient start 2006 with a trip to York Street, home of Boston United. United currently occupy 13th place in League Two and have lost just once at home all season. However, recent form is not too good and the Pilgrims lost 1-0 at Barnet last time out. Boston have failed to win in any of their last six games, though they managed a creditable 1-1 draw at Wycombe. Their last win was on November 26th when they defeated Wrexham 2-1.

There seems to be a bit of needle between the clubs with Boston manager particularly critical of Orient after this fixture ended 2-2 last season. Evans also expressed his disappointment at not winning the October manager of the month award which was instead awarded to a certain Martin Ling. You can be pretty sure that the fiery manager will have Boston fired up for this particular encounter.

Vital Quotes:

Last time Orient visited York Street was almost a year ago to the day. Daryl McMahon headed home a 94th minute equaliser to give the O’s a share of the spoils and take a well earned point back to Brisbane Road thanks to a 2-2 draw. Orient last won at York Street in 2002 when Chris Tate’s early goal proved enough for three points. That remains the O’s only win at Boston to date.

Boston United Team News:

Steve Evans has promised to shake things up for the Pilgrims following the disappointing 1-0 defeat at Barnet. The Pilgrims could welcome back midfielder Mark Greaves who has recovered from a back strain and was an unused sub at Barnet. Goalkeeper Conrad Logan plays his final game in his emergency 7 day loan spell. Boston have some well known players including former premier league strikers Noel Whelan and Julian Joachim. In addition they also boast former Orient defender Alan White. Let’s hope he plays for Boston as he did for us. Stewart Talbot and former Lincoln defender Ben Futcher could also return having both missed out at Underhill.

Player to watch: Julian Joachim

Joachim has scored 10 goals this season after joining during pre-season. The striker played for Leicester, Coventry, Villa and Leeds amongst others scoring goals at the highest level. His pace will be a constant threat and Orient’s defence will have to be at its best to keep Boston out.

Leyton Orient Team News:

Orient have no new injury worries for the game with Jabo Ibehre continuing up front in the absence of Lee Steele. However, Michael Simpson will have to sit this game out having picked up his 5th booking of the season during the game with Notts County. Darryl McMahon will come in for him. Nathan Abbey is not eligible for this game as part of his loan arrangement. Glenn Morris has recovered from injury so will take his place on the bench. McMahon’s place on the bench will be taken by Saah, Hanson or Jason Demetriou.

Player to watch: Daryl McMahon

I couldn’t pick Tudor again could I? McMahon scored twice to earn Orient a point in this fixture last season. With Michael Simpson suspended McMahon needs to take his chance if he is to impress Martin Ling. His passing and shooting will need to be up to his highest standard if he is to create the chances for the strikers.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Brian Curson- let’s all hope that he is slightly more competent than last Saturday’s official.

Match Prediction:

This is going to be a tough game for Orient with Boston having only lost once at York Street this season, ironically to Notts County who Orient beat on Saturday. The pitch won’t help Orient’s passing game, but it can’t be any worse than Brisbane Road at the moment. Boston are a tough and physical side with a passionate and fiery manager and Orient will have to be up for the battle if they are to achieve victory. Boston possess good pace up front with Joachim and Francis Green whilst Lawrie Dudfield is also an accompolished striker at this level and could cause problems. However, if Orient play to their potential and Tudor can continue his great form then Orient can certainly take the points on offer. It’s going to be tight, but the O’s should sneak this one, 2-1.

Next Fixtures:

With Grimsby playing Carlisle and Northampton making the trip to Rochdale, Orient will be hoping that they can stretch away from the chasing pack. Cheltenham are at Stockport as they try and gain on the top three, but they have played the same amount of games as Orient.

Orient will have to be solid if they are to take three points and big performances are needed all round. There can be no repeat of the defensive shambles at Wycombe if Orient are to triumph. A win at York Street would be a fantastic way to start 2006 and who knows, maybe a promotion winning year? Keep Dreaming!