Date: 15th September 2006 at 3:30pm
Written by:

Orient travel to Brighton & Hove Albion for their first league meeting in over six years. The O`s will be looking for their first points away from Brisbane Road this season having previously lost all four away games thus far.


Orient travel to take on Brighton & Hove Albion knowing that they cannot afford a repeat of the first half shambles that have haunted them away from home in recent weeks. Having underperformed in the first forty-five minutes at Carlisle, Tranmere and Bristol City, Martin Ling will be hoping that his side are still in contention come half time.

It promises to be a scrappy affair with neither team playing particularly well at the moment which was underlined recently by the sacking of former Brighton manager, Mark McGhee. Dean Wilkins and John White have taken over the reigns at the Withdean and are currently undefeated with the Seagulls winning 1-0 at Millwall before being held to a 2-2 draw by Bournemouth.

The O`s fans will be hoping that Orient can somehow try and turnaround their appalling away form which has seen their team slip into the relegation zone. However, O`s fans will be lucky to see anything considering how far away the away fans will be situated from the action.

Martin Ling will need to make changes after the lack of pace in Orient`s line up was highlighted by Bristol City`s ability to cut through the O`s team with ease. Brian Saah could start in defence whilst the front pairing of Connor and Alexander will be split up with the former being replaced by ex-Brighton man, Lee Steele.

Wilkins On Withdean Clash

Brighton`s caretaker manager Dean Wilkins has ordered his players to concentrate on their defensive duties ahead of the clash with Orient.

“We’ve got a habit at the moment of conceding goals from set plays and getting men sent off. I just think we have to be stronger with ourselves and stronger collectively to make sure that doesn’t happen. I think it is 100 per cent a mental thing. If you’ve got a task to mark somebody, you mark him until the ball is cleared. He doesn’t get a free header. You deal with the player”.

Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:

Brighton will be without their suspended Captain, Richard Carpenter after the midfielder was sent off in the Seagulls’ 1-0 win at Millwall last weekend. The home side will be without Charlie Oatway, Adam Hinshelwood and Joe Gatting who are all currently injured.

On loan midfielder Tony Stokes has returned to West Ham whilst Republic of Ireland ‘keeper, Wayne Henderson, will take no part in the game after he requested a transfer from the club.

Caretaker manager Dean Wilkins could welcome Adam El-Abd back to right side of defence with either Paul Reid or Tommy Fraser dropping to the bench. Dean Hammond will continue as stand in captain for the suspended Carpenter.

Player to watch: Alex Revell

Revell signed from non-league Braintree after scoring 21 goals in eighteen games for the Essex outfit. The 6`3 striker has managed just two goals in eight appearances so far this season but will provide an aerial threat that Orient will have to negotiate.

Orient should also look out for left winger Alexandre Frutos, the former Metz player has excellent pace although his delivery is somewhat inconsistent.

Leyton Orient Team News:

Orient will be without Craig Easton once again as they make the trip to the Withdean. Clayton Fortune and Lee Steele should both be available with Steele expected to partner Gary Alexander in attack. Paul Connor will probably drop to the bench.

Brian Saah will be hoping to start the game after Orient`s poor defensive showing at Ashton Gate on Tuesday evening with Adam Tann likely to make way. Shane Tudor is struggling with an ankle injury which means he could lose the chance to replace either Joe Keith or Wayne Corden, with neither player managing to deliver an impressive performance last time out against Bristol City.

Player to watch: Adam Chambers

Chambers has sufficiently impressed in his brief Orient career thus far to suggest that he could be a superb acquisition to the O’s side. With the game likely to be a scrappy affair, Chambers will need to be at his most tenacious if he is to inspire Orient to victory.

Much rests on the shoulders of Chambers and Simpson in the midfield with Orient overrun and out passed at times last Tuesday. The two central midfielders will have to give the defence a lot more protection on this occasion than they have done in recent games.

Match Facts & Stats

This is the 79th league meeting between the two sides with Brighton winning on 32 occasions to Orient`s 28.

The last time Orient visited the Withdean was in 2000 when the home side managed to take all three points courtesy of a 2-0 victory.

Orient`s last win at Brighton came in the previous season when an Ahmet Brkovic goal inspired Orient to a 1-0 win over their hosts.

Brighton are currently 13th in League One with 11 points from their eight games. The Seagull`s have won once at home this season whilst drawing twice and losing once.

Alex Revell, Dean Hammond and Jake Robinson have all scored twice this season for Albion.

Ref Watch:

Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire will be in charge of the game.

In his three games this season he has awarded 8 yellow cards and 0 reds.

Mr Drysdale last officiated Orient during the 1-0 away win at Rushden & Diamonds during last season`s F.A. Cup.

Match Prediction:

Orient have not given their fans much reason for optimism away from home this season having conceded eleven times in their opening four fixtures away from Brisbane Road. However, this game being a needle game could provide the O`s with the extra motivation to take the game to their hosts and maybe snatch a win.

Albion do not possess the same quality as Bristol City or Brentford for that matter and this game should provide Orient with a real opportunity to gather some much needed points.

The O`s will need to defend far better than they did against City last time out whilst in attack, Gary Alexander and co. will have to be far more clinical than they have been in recent times. Ling must also make sure that he eradicates the ridiculous tactic of Orient playing with their backs to the opposing goal and constantly passing backwards.

It`s going to be a tight and scrappy affair on a pitch that will not aid Orient`s passing game, but if the O`s can defend properly and take their chances in the final third, then the away fans could yet be celebrating come full time.

Score Prediction:

Albion 1-2 Orient