Preview: Leyton Orient vs Exeter City

City put in a creditable display before the cruelty of the penalty shoot out in going down to Wycombe in the EFL Cup in midweek, especially in the context of the Covid outbreak amongst the squad which, at the time of writing, has put Saturday’s fixture in doubt. Such were the issues confronting Matt Taylor that he was unable to field a full bench with young Charlie Hanson named amongst the substitutes. Sam Nombe and Alex Hartridge are confirmed cases, but Josh Key also missed the Wycombe match having been in close contact with Nombe and shown Covid symptoms. On the brighter side, Taylor was able to pull off something of a coup in the loan signing of Padraig Amond from Newport – the Irishman has an excellent scoring record and it will have come as some surprise, both in Devon and South Wales, that he was deemed surplus to requirements at Rodney Parade. Amond is likely to get the nod on Saturday with Nombe missing, while Timothee Dieng is set to return to the starting line-up along with the likes of Jonathan Grounds.

After a season where they barely troubled the scorers at either end of the table, this summer has seen Leyton Orient quietly move into promotion contender territory amongst the pundits. The main reason for this is the installation of Kenny Jackett as manager, which was seen as a real statement of intent. While several of their key players from last season have moved on, the signings of players like Darren Pratley and Omar Beckles shows they mean business. Like City the Os have drawn both of their matches so far this season and also departed from the EFL Cup on penalties to QPR. Jackett’s side opened their league campaign with a 1-1 draw at promotion favourites Salford with Beckles on the scoresheet.

City had the best of things last season, taking four points from this fixture. The 1-1 draw at Brisbane Road in October was notable for being Jokull Andresson’s City debut, but he was powerless to prevent Conor Wilkinson opening the scoring in the fourth minute before Jake Taylor equalised just after half time. The return was a rare high note in a tepid second half of the season for City, storming to a 4-0 win thanks to Joel Randall and a first career hat-trick from Matt Jay. This was the third time City had scored four at home against Leyton Orient in their last four encounters at the Park. That win drew the sides level in league head to heads with 32 wins apiece, 25 matches finishing level. The last 35 encounters can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=10267

The match officials for the game will be:-

Referee: Tom Reeves
Assistant Referees: Paul Kelly and Greg Read
Fourth Official: Daniel Cook

Just the one game in charge of Exeter City for Tom Reeves, the FA Cup tie against AFC Fylde last season  https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=Tom+Reeves



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