Justin Edinburgh still in thoughts as Leyton Orient host Newport


Hosts Leyton Orient await their Welsh visitors on a dismal run, with no wins in their last six games. Those games have yielded just four goals but the poor run of form is even longer.

Since beating Grimsby 4-0 on October 19th, the O’s have won just two of 17 competitive matches, one of which was a penalty shoot-out win over Brighton U-21s in a League Cup group stage match. The other was a 3-2 win at Cambridge on December 21st.

Extracting the cup ties from that record, they have garnered just nine points from the last 14 games as well as being embarrassingly knocked out the FA Cup by Maldon and Tiptree of the Isthmian League North Division.

They have inevitably fallen into the relegation zone although Bury FC’s inability to fulfill their fixtures means that only one side will fall out the league. There are still six sides behind them but the farthest trails by only six points. Unlike Orient though, each of those sides has a win in their last six games.

Newport, on the other hand, are on a great run and have won their last three games, against MK Dons, Scunthorpe and league leaders Swindon Town with seven goals scored to just one conceded. Furthermore, their FL Trophy match with Leicester midweek was postponed due to a frozen pitch so unlike their hosts, they come to East London well-rested.

Although 11th, the Gwent side have three games in hand on the sides above them which means they can bridge the five-point gap with 10th place quite comfortably. That playoff spot guaranteed by 4th place though might be a stretch however as Plymouth Argyle are eleven ahead with just one more game played.

The Welshmen still have to meet Plymouth on February 1 and should they go into that game on the back of a win at Brisbane Road and a subsequent home win over struggling Macclesfield then, their more optimistic fans might sense another trip to Wembley is in the offing where they lost 1-0 to Tranmere Rovers after a goal in the 119th minute.

Still other sides above them would have to lose games but in a somewhat even league, that too might be possible.

The sides drew 1-1 earlier this season but the match was more noted for the posthumous induction of Justin Edinburgh into NCAFC’s Hall of Fame  at half time of the first match.

Edinburgh who died tragically young last June was Newport manager from 2011-15 and was managing Orient at the time of his death.

[Orient announce the tragic death of Justin Edinburgh]

Journalist George Sessions covered Orient at close quarters and witnessed the sad recent history. He told Prost International:

“Saturday will be a bit of a tribute to the late Justin Edinburgh. He won promotion from the Conference/National League with both clubs – Orient in April, but had a heart attack in June and died a week later. It was a terrible shock for the club. I believe O’s are doing some type of tribute to him and imagine it will be an emotional occasion for both clubs.

“Aside from that, Orient have struggled this season perhaps understandably after losing Justin, but recently appointed his assistant Ross Embleton as manager and he will hope that stability can see them finish strongly this season.”

He added:

“Newport were also struggling, but have had a great month and got a few wins to move into top half.”

Team news

During Tuesday’s draw with Northampton Town, Orient midfielder James Dayton was dismissed for a confrontation with Scott Wharton, which also saw Wharton sent off. Beyond that, Orient have no fresh injury concerns.

County boss Michael Flynn had made six changes to his starting XI from the win over Swindon Town for the postponed Leicester Trophy tie. Therefore keeper Nick Townsend, defenders George Nurse and Kyle Howkins and midfielders Robbie Willmott, Matty Dolan and Jordan Green saw no action.

He told the South Wales Argus that he had hoped to give at least some of them playing time:

“I wanted to get some minutes into Jordan, Kyle and Matty Dolan. George was unlucky on Saturday, and I wanted Robbie to get some minutes.”

With those who beat Swindon well-rested, Flynn is not short of options for his side’s visit to Leyton.

Newport beat league leaders Swindon in their last outing


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