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Match Previews

Preview: Leyton Orient (A)

2 August 2019

The wait is over as the new League Two season gets underway on Saturday and for Cheltenham Town it's an opening day trip to Leyton Orient (kick-off: 3pm).

Michael Duff begins his first full season in charge of the Robins with a trip to Orient, who are back in the Football League after their promotion as National League champions last season.

Saturday's game is set to be a huge occasion not just for football reasons, but for the whole of the football community to mark the occasion as a tribute to the hosts former manager, Justin Edinburgh, who tragically lost his life after the end of last season.

Edinburgh helped guide Orient to the league title last season as well as the FA Trophy final. Saturday's match will offer both clubs the chance to pay their respects to his life and legacy before the football kicks-off to start the campaign.

Goalkeeper Scott Flinders is expecting an emotional atmosphere but is backing his teammates to focus fully on the task that lies ahead.

"I think the emotion of the game is going to be hard for all supporters really," Flinders said. "Everybody was shocked by the manager dying at a young age.

"It is going to be hard with regards to that. But the professional element of the game will have to come through, especially with us going there as the away team.

"It's going to be hard with regards to before the game but we have to switch our minds to the game and picking up the three points."

Flinders played a crucial role in last season's set-up, and the experienced shot-stopper is no doubt going to play a key role again this season with another new group looking to push the club forward.

"It is a brand new team," Flinders added. "We have to be optimistic going into the new season. I think the new lads have settled in well, helped by the lads that were here before.

"The philosophy stays the same as to regards how the gaffer wants to play. It's going to be one that we look forward too - I can't wait for the season to start. I'm not a big lover of pre-season. I just want the business to start now."

Team news

Attacking duo George Lloyd and Reuben Reid will miss Saturday's opener through injury.

Chris Hussey and Josh Debayo face a race to be fit to be involved after missing parts of pre-season.

There are seven potential new debutants on Saturday, of which three were new arrivals in the past few days - Max Sheaf, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Gavin Reilly have all arrived on loan deals this week and could wear the club colours for the first time.


Many of the players who helped Leyton Orient clinch promotion back to the Football League are once again part of their set-up leading into the new League Two season - as well as a number of new faces that have also joined their ranks.

Their forward line includes summer signing Lee Angol who will bring presence at the top of their attack, while another new face going forward, Conor Wilkinson, could make an impact too.

Former Stoke City youngster James Alabi is a powerful force up top while they can also call upon the experienced Matt Harrold.

In a wide area Jordan Maguire-Drew is one to keep an eye out for, while Robins fans will be familiar with James Dayton, who like with Orient last season, helped Cheltenham win the National League in 2016.

The experience of captain and Jamaica international Jobi McAnuff is anotehr key element to their offensive approach, while the likes of Craig Clay and Josh Coulson are those who help shore up the spine of their side.

Former Swindon Town coach Ross Embleton has been appointed Interim Head Coach and the experienced Martin Ling is also another key figure behind the scenes. Ling serves as Director of Football at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Previous meetings

Since the Robins gained promotion to the Football League for the first time in 1999 there have been regular battles in League Two and League One between the two teams.

It's Cheltenham who boast the better record with 10 victories, while Orient have come out on top on six occasions and games ending in draws five times from the two clubs competitive contests.

The last clash between the two sides came in February 2017 when a Carl Winchester first half goal sealed all three points away from home.

Games tend to be relatively close between the two sides, however a August 2003 meeting at Orient saw a Bob Taylor brace, plus further goals from Kayode Odejayi and Darren Jones help Cheltenham to a 4-1 victory that day.

Tickets and travel

Tickets are available to purchase on the day at the stadium for Robins fans. Details on prices for the game are available here.

Fans who have booked on the supporters coaches making the journey are advised that it leaves the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at 10am.


For match updates, team news and pictures follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter. You can also check out the club's Facebook page for updates.

Post-match you can visit the club website to read a report on the game and to hear reaction from Michael Duff.

Listen to full match commentary online via iFollow for the first time this season. Coverage is also available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with Ian Randall and Pete Matthews.

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