Orient come to town

Brian Caffarey
9:28am, Thu 17th Aug 2017
Woking v Leyton Orient
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 19 August 2017

This Saturday’s game should be one of the highlights of the season, when the O’s, with Jake Caprice in their squad, will bring a huge following to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Make sure you’re there to cheer on Anthony Limbrick’s side as they seek a third home win in a row. But Orient will be smarting from their 6-1 away defeat midweek at Bromley and will no doubt prove tough opponents.


Anthony was clearly delighted to see his side grab three more valuable points on Tuesday evening against Eastleigh in a hard-fought, close encounter which caught fire in the second half. After the disappointment of last Saturday’s rather tame defeat at Barrow it was good to see the side play with great spirit and determination and no little skill at times. Anthony decided to start with Jamie Philpot, which seemed to give us a bit more by way of attacking options and also gave Anthony the opportunity to bring on later the fresh legs of Charlie Carter to stiffen the midfield when hanging on – fairly grimly on occasions – to a 2-1 lead was the priority. Kane Ferdinand, in his undemonstrative way, perhaps helped us to be a bit more careful in possession and impressed in a midfield defensive role alongside Chez Isaac. There were outstanding performances from Inih Effiong and Nathan Ralph, with Joe Ward also very eye-catching at times.

The Cards, looking a bit bereft of ideas in the opening 25 minutes or so, were fortunate to still be on level terms when, just before the break, Effiong produced a very smart turn and finish from Philpot’s cutback. They then upped their game in the second half to add to their lead thanks to some superb harrying by Effiong and an excellent cross, which forced the defender into conceding an own goal. Nathan Baxter then produced a vital penalty save to help see the Cards through to a very good result against a side that can be expected to challenge for a play-off place.

It sounds as if Jason Banton might be fit enough to claim a place on the bench on Saturday. Joey Jones missed Tuesday’s game and, towards the end, Matt Young had to come on for the injured Louis Ramsay.


Orient fans will have already grasped that getting out of the National League isn’t going to be a piece of cake. (Just ask Wrexham, making their tenth attempt!) An opening day defeat at Sutton United was a warning. Home wins over Solihull Moors and Maidstone United engendered optimism, but that must have been badly dented by the 6-1 mauling they suffered at Bromley on Tuesday night. Perhaps Orient don’t like 3G pitches?!

The recent woes of the East London club have been well-documented but a new era started when a consortium headed by long-time fan, Nigel Travis, Chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Inc, bought the club from the reviled Francesco Becchetti. Former O’s manager, Martin Ling, was appointed as Director of Football, and then Steve Davis, formerly manager of Crewe Alexandra but with experience of non-League football from managerial stints at Nantwich and Northwich Victoria, was appointed manager. The new spirit at the club is reflected in record season ticket sales of over 3,500.

Not surprisingly, there has been an almost total revolution in the first team squad, with only the two young goalkeepers, Charlie Grainger and Sam Sargeant, midfielder Freddie Moncur and young winger, Josh Koroma, remaining.

But several former ‘favourites’ have returned to Brisbane Road, most notably striker David Mooney, who made over 170 appearances for Orient between 2011 and 2015 before moving to Southend, and 35 -year-old winger Jobi McAnuff, best known for his five-year spell at Reading. Some other high profile signings were those of midfielder and captain Charlie Lee, formerly with Peterborough, Gillingham and Stevenage; highly-experienced Cameroonian defender George Elokobi, once of Wolves but more recently with Colchester United and a loan spell at Braintree last season; midfielder Alex Lawless, who spent five successful years at Luton Town before a spell at Yeovil; defender Josh Coulson, arriving on loan from Cambridge United, where he has just received a testimonial game after over 300 appearances; former Card, Jake Caprice; striker Macauley Bonne, bought for an undisclosed fee from Colchester United, but with loan spells at Lincoln City and Woking last season; defender Joe Widdowson, switching from Dagenham and Redbridge; and Benin international midfielder Romuald Boco, who had three spells with Accrington Stanley amongst other more exotic locations.

Other arrivals include midfielders Craig Clay (ex-Grimsby and Motherwell), James Dayton (most recently with Cheltenham Town) and Michael Clark; and defenders James Sendles- White (ex-Swindon Town) and Christian Scales (who made his League debut for Crawley Town but had a spell at Whitehawk last season).


Adults £18
Over 65s £13
Disabled (Including carer) £13
Students (U19) £5
U16s £5

The game will be segregated, with Orient allocated the open Chris Lane Terrace and part of the seated Leslie Gosden Stand.

Season ticket holders have the chance to sample the delights of the Geoff Chapple Lounge for only £36. See the website for details.


Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Cardinals’. Only £3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos.


The Cards make the long trip to Wrexham on Saturday 26 August. The Cards Trust is running a coach, so book your place on Saturday. At 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday (28 August) Torquay United are the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Make sure the date is in your diary!

Come on, you Cards!

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