Leyton Orient will play their first home of the season on Wednesday night looking to kickstart their home campaign against visiting Ebbsfleet United.
The kick off time for the first midweek home game of the 2018/2019 season will be 19.45pm UK time (20.45pm CET and Malta time).
The O’s had a tough start on Saturday up in Greater Manchester where they played newly promoted Salford City who are off the back of having won 3 promotions in the last 4 seasons. Salford City have been on a roll the last few seasons thanks to help, money and input from former Manchester United class of ‘92 members Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.
Orient came away from Salford City with a very creditable 1-1 away draw and both teams will have been pleased to have got on the board at least.
This was the first time the two teams had ever played against each other as new manager Graham Alexander led out his troops on home turf looking for an opening victory in their first season in the National League.
The home team started well and looked busy, running after everything all over the park. Perhaps running on adrenalin in front of an excellent 2,156 attendance. Rory Gaffney had opened the scoring shortly after half-time, converting Danny Lloyd’s accurate cross which he volleyed well to send the home supporters into elation.
In the second half Orient left it late to get back to level pecking but bit back with just 2 minutes left on the clock. A corner from Jobi McAnuff was floated into the back post where Craig Clay lashed the ball back across goal, saw a deflection of Salford’s Hogan and smack bang into the net to give the travellers that all important first point of the season. The home team had started as favourites so this will be a happy manager Justin Edinburgh after the first game.
The team selection was not a million miles away from the team that ended last season although Alabi was making his debut opposite Orient’s scoring dynamo from last season Macauley Bonne.
Wednesday nights opponents Ebbsfleet didn’t start off their campaign too impressively as they played Chesterfield who were beginning life in the National League for the first time following their relegation from the football league in May. The Kent team lost 1-0 thanks to a Zavon Hines’ second-half penalty to give Chesterfield a great incentive to kick on and thrust themselves back into the second division.
The Spireites dropped out of the Football League for the first time in almost a century after finishing bottom of League Two last season, but they made an ideal start to this campaign.
Ebbsfleet will feel hard done by, however, as Ebou Adams’ header clattered the bar in the first half while Danny Kedwell’s chipped effort was cleared off the line just after the interval.
Orient’s last competitive home game ended in a 1-0 defeat to Maidenhead United at the end of April 2018 and they will be looking to get 3 more points for the league table come the final whistle on Wednesday.
Interestingly there was no place for Matt Harold or David Mooney in the team on Saturday and neither made the bench either and at 33 and 34 years of age respectively you do wonder if either will feature for the O’s this season.
In the corresponding match at Brisbane Road last season you only have to go back to March 10th where the teams carved out a 1-1 draw, Orient scoring through a 32nd minute equaliser after Corey Whitely had given Ebbsfleet a 15th minute lead.
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