Leyton Orient are facing an uphill battle for survival in League Two after failing to pick up any points from home matches with fellow strugglers Notts County and Cheltenham Town.
On Saturday, we ran into an inspired Cheltenham goalkeeper, with Scott Brown twice denying Gavin Massey from point-blank range before saving a second half Callum Kennedy penalty.
The penalty save left the O’s side visibly deflated for the final 35 minutes of the 0-1 defeat, which left us three points off football league safety ahead of Tuesday’s trip to in-form Stevenage.
Stevenage have enjoyed a late winter renaissance since losing 2-0 at Orient’s closest relegation rivals Hartlepool United on 21 January. The Boro have won five and drawn one of their subsequent six league matches, which has seen then jump from 15th place to one point off the play-offs in 9th.
Manager Darren Sarll will be targeting three points against Orient, on a night where the three teams directly above them – Mansfield Town, Colchester United and Exeter City – are all away from home.
For Orient, it is perhaps a positive that we are on the road for eight of our remaining 13 fixtures. Saturday’s blank against Cheltenham was the eighth time we have failed to score in 18 home matches. Conversely, we have scored in 11 of 15 away matches at an average of 1.33 goals.
Back both teams to score at 1.79 on EnergyBet
We may have become the first side to 20 defeats at the weekend, but O’s manager Danny Webb will remain optimistic so long as we keep creating chances. He also insisted that the “real character and togetherness” shown in recent weeks will eventually translate itself into league points.
It is also worth mentioning that we turned in arguably our best performance of the season against Stevenage back in August. A Massey double inspired the 3-0 win, in a match which also saw us have 17 shots on goal and enjoy 56% possession.
Another good omen is that the O’s haven’t lost a league match against Stevenage since August 2012, having won five of the six subsequent meetings without conceding a goal. Webb will be hoping that Stevenage are ruing another visit from their ‘bogey team’ by Saturday evening.
EnergyBet Match Odds:
Stevenage 1.75 | Draw 3.55 | Orient 4.30