City put in arguably their best performance of the season at Carlisle to extend their unbeaten start to seven matches ahead of the welcome return of a club that seems to have recovered from catastrophic ownership. At time of writing the Manager of the Month award has yet to be dished out but Matt Taylor is surely odds-on, hopefully the so-called curse won’t kick in. With an almost fully fit squad to choose from Taylor is unlikely to tinker too much with his winning formula.
What should have been a time for celebration for Leyton Orient, a return to the EFL after a two year absence, was overshadowed by the tragic death of manager Justin Edinburgh, who suffered a heart attack aged just 49. The Os, after a turbulent few years under the chaotic ownership of Francesco Beccheti, had regrouped under new ownership in the National League and, after a season of consolidation Edinburgh guided them to the title last season before his untimely death. Ross Embleton has taken over as interim manager and has overseen a reasonable if unspectacular start to life back in League Two with the Os currently in 17th place in the table. A 3-1 home defeat to Swindon last weekend extended the club’s winless run to three. Jordan Maguire-Drew was on the scoresheet to continue his impressive start to the season, while the likes of goalkeeper Dean Brill and defender Joe Widdowson provide much needed experience.
The last time the sides met was in the chaotic 16/17 season and the fixture saw City pick up all six points against their ultimately doomed opponents. Given City ended the season losing to Blackpool at Wembley in the playoff final the fact they were bottom when they won 1-0 at Brisbane Road (Ollie Watkins) towards the end of November was quite incredible. Just over a month later City were beginning to fly, scoring goals for fun, and the Os bore the brunt in the first match of 2017 with a 4-0 hammering, Wheeler, Harley with a brace (one from the spot) and McAlinden doing the damage. The long trip from East London hasn’t been a pleasant one in recent years for Orient, that 4-0 win meaning the last three visits to the Park yielded no points, no goals and 11 goals conceded, and the last time they came away with a win was back in the 00/01 season. City’s recent run in this fixture has seen the league head to head gap closed to 31-32, with 23 matches finishing level. Details of the last 30 games can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=10267
Match officials for the game are:-
Referee: Peter Wright
Assistant Referees: Samuel Ogles and Simon Shaw
Fourth Official : Kevin Morris
This will be Peter Wright’s third game in charge of Exeter, details at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=peter+wright