Leyton Orient vs. Tranmere Rovers match preview

Goodison set to make crucial return for Rovers
This Saturday, Tranmere will be looking to keep up their recent good away form as they travel to London to take on struggling Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.

The O's have had a dissapointing start to the season, despite the hot form of former Hartlepool striker Adam Boyd, and they will be looking to over turn a recent run of shocking form against a Tranmere side who could well be low on confidence after last weekends dismal performance against Millwall at Prenton Park.

Leyton Orient team profile:

Formed: 1881

Ground: Brisbane Road

Manager: Martin Ling

Nickname: The O's

Season Finish 2006/07: 14th (Coca-Cola League One)

Previous Meetings:

Tranmere fans would probably quite like to forget the last time the sides met at Brisbane Road, as Leyton Orient ran out 3-0 winners in a match re-arranged for a Tuesday night in January due to Tranmere's involvement in the F.A. Cup.

Orient took the lead after just eleven minutes when Tranmere failed to clear a corner, with Wayne Gray firing home at the back post after some penalty area pinball.

For the rest of the half, Tranmere were the better side, and indeed at half time the 1-0 score was harsh on Rovers. However, disaster struck just after half-time as Shane Sherriff was given his second yellow card for a stupid tackle near the half-way line, reducing Tranmere to ten men.

From there on, it was always going to be an uphill battle, but Tranmere still held the majority of the possession and looked most likely to score the next goal for the next twenty minutes or so, with Jennison Myrie-Williams a constant threat on the wing.

However, Rovers tired in the last fifteen minutes, and Orient made their extra man count, scoring two goals to kill the game off.

Firstly, Sean Thornton netted from the edge of the area with an excellent curling effort before substitute Jason Demetriou netted in injury time as he beat Stockdale with his trickery on the Tranmere right before shooting across Coyne, scoring from a very tight angle.

The most recent meeting between the two sides came in February, a month and a day after the match at Brisbane Road, and Leyton Orient put an end to Tranmere's four match winning streak as they picked up a 1-1 draw.

Calvin Zola opened the scoring for Tranmere after just two minutes with a well worked Tranmere goal. Jennison Myrie-Williams crossed deep into the penalty area from the right, with Shane Sherriff nodding the ball down to Zola who fired home from near the penalty spot.

Tranmere should have gone on and won the game comfortably from there, with the likes of Myrie-Williams and Antony Kay all having good chances to add to Rovers' lead.

However, the only other goal of the game was scored by Orient, as late at the 87th minute, with Chambers stabbing the ball past Coyne from inside the penalty area after a long kick forward by the Orient goalkeeper.

Vital Stats:

Tranmere have only won one of their last five matches against the O's

In seven of the last nine meetings between the two sides, at least one side has netted on three occasions

In twelve trips to Leyton Orient, Tranmere have won just twice, picking up two draws as well as eight defeats

Orient have scored 26 times in twelve home matches against Tranmere

Two previous October meetings between Rovers and Orient have seen Tranmere pick up a win and a draw

On This Day:

2005: Tranmere beat Lincoln 2-1 at home in the Football League Trophy under Brian Little

2003: Rovers come from 1-0 down to beat Oldham Athletic thanks to second half goals from Hume and Roberts

1997: Nottingham Forest pick up a 2-2 draw at Prenton Park against John Aldridge's Tranmere

The Form Book:

Leyton Orient last 5 home matches: DLLDW
Tranmere last 6 away matches: WDWLLL

So far this season, Leyton Orient have played only five home matches, mainly due to them being drawn away from home for all three of their cup matches so far this season.

They started this season in good form as they defeated lowly Hereford United 2-1 at Brisbane Road, with Melligan and Boyd scoring both goals in the first half for the O's.

Two weeks later in their next home match, Orient drew 0-0 with Carlisle United, who have been struggling for form of late, before losing consecutive home matches to Stockport County (3-0) and high-flying Leicester City (3-1).

In their most recent home match, Orient picked up their first point after three consecutive defeats, as they drew 2-2 with another high-flying club, Scunthorpe United, Boyd and Purches scoring for Orient as they came from 2-0 down to earn a point.

Notable results away from home for Orient this season include an away league win at Walsall (2-0) and a 4-2 victory over Southend United in the first round of the Johnstone's Paints Trophy.

Leyton Orient come into this game having picked up five points from an available fifteen in their opening five home league matches, thanks to one win, two draws and two defeats.

After ten matches in League One, they lie twentieth in the table, having picked up just nine points from an available thirty, thanks to two wins, three draws and five defeats.

After a terrible start to the season on the road, Tranmere's away form has picked up dramatically, so much so that they come into this match unbeaten in their last three away from Prenton Park.

Rovers started the season on the road at Swindon Town and put in a terrible display as they lost 3-1, before travelling to Grimsby for the League Cup first round and despite dominating the match, they lost 2-0 against the League Two strugglers, with missed chances costing Tranmere greatly.

Again, Rovers were unlucky in their next away game, as Ronnie Moore's side put in an impressive display at Leicester City, only to lose 3-1, despite dominating for most of the first half.

Since though, Tranmere's away form has clicked. Firstly, they came from behind to beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 at the Galparm Stadium, with Sonko and Shotton scoring for Tranmere, before Roers travelled to Peterborough and threw away a 2-0 lead as they only drew 2-2 at London Road.

In their most recent away game, Tranmere picked up three more away points, winning away to Carlisle for the second consecutive season as goals from Ian Moore and Ryan Shotton were enough to secure Tranmere a 2-1 win.

Notable home results for Tranmere this season include a 4-1 hammering of Northampton Town and a 1-0 win over Hartlepool United.

In their five away league matches this season, Tranmere have picked up seven points from an available fifteen thanks to two wins, one draw and two defeats.

Coming into this game lying fourteenth in the League One table after ten games, Tranmere have picked up thirteen points from an available thirty, with four wins, five defeats and one draw to their name.

Double Hit:

There is currently one player on the books at Leyton Orient who was once a Tranmere player and who, since leaving the club, has felt nothing but hatred from the Tranmere fans.

Irish midfielder Sean Thornton started his career at Prenton Park, coming through the youth ranks at the Ingleborough training ground and breaking into the first team under manager Dave Watson during the 2001/02 season.

An impressive talent, Thornton scored once in thirteen appearances for Tranmere before controversially leaving the club for Sunderland.

The player illegally left Rovers, as he firstly illegally trained with Sunderland, despite not having Tranmere's permission to do so as he was still in contract with the Wirral club, before signing a contract with Sunderland.

During his absense from the Tranmere training ground, he said he was back home in Ireland, caring for an ill member of his family.

After leaving Tranmere, Thornton's career has fallen away somewhat. Brilliant highs, such as helping Sunderland to the Premier League and his wonder strike for Doncaster against Aston Villa in a League Cup match on Sky television, have been out numbered by many lows and bad points in his career.

A poor attitude and bad drinking habits have resulted in Thornton never realising just what potential he has, and as such, he has never lasted more than three years at a club.

Playing 64 games for Sunderland, 26 of these as a substitute, and spending time out on loan at Blackpool during his time at the Stadium of Light, Thornton was sold to Doncaster in 2005 for £175,000.

After two years with the Yorkshire club, in which time Thornton played at Prenton Park for the first time since leaving Tranmere, and made 77 appearances, scoring four goals, the midfielder was on the move again, this time joining Leyton Orient on a free transfer.

Thornton enjoyed a good first season with the O's, scoring against Tranmere at Brisbane Road as he made 34 appearances and scored three goals.

However, he couldn't break into the team at the start of this season, making just three appearances before joining Shrewsbury on a month long loan deal in September.

The twenty-five year old impressed whilst at Shrewsbury, scoring once in six games for the club, but the failure to agree an extention to his stay at Shrewsbury resulted in a return to Orient this week and, as such, he is in contention to play against Tranmere this weekend.

A player who just appears to crave attention, from the fans and media, Thornton has undoubted ability, but he has never been able to fulfill that ability, and as such it appears that he will be a League One player or below for most of his career.

One To Watch: Adam Boyd

Striker Adam Boyd has been in fine form so far this season for Leyton Orient, netting six times in thirteen appearances, despite the club lying in twentieth place in the League One table.

Boyd started his career with Hartlepool United, where he was a professional for seven years between 1999 and 2006.

Indeed, Boyd was part of the United side that defeated Tranmere in the 2004/05 play-off semi finals, scoring both goals for the Monkey Hangers in their 2-0 win over Brian Little's Tranmere in the first leg of the tie at Victoria Park.

Over seven years with the club, Boyd played 169 matches and scored sixty goals, as well as joining Boston United on two loan spells during the 2003/04 season, which saw him make fourteen appearances and score four goals.

However, Hartlepool's relegation to League Two in 2006 saw Boyd leave the club and he signed for Luton Town for a fee of £500,000.

Boyd was never able to produce the same form at Luton as he had at Hartlepool though, netting just twice in twenty-three appearances for the club.

A year after joining Luton Town, Boyd was released and in July 2007 he signed for Leyton Orient on a free-transfer.

The twenty-six year old has now played 62 matches for the O's, scoring twenty-three goals in the process, a record of over a goal every three matches.

Standing at five foot nine inches tall, Boyd doesn't possess great height but he is an excellent finisher from in an around the penalty area, and his record of goals shows just that. He wears the number eighteen shirt for Orient.

Around League One:

Without doubt, the most exciting match of the weekend takes place at the New Den, where to high-flying, promotion chasing clubs meet. There will be no love lost as Millwall host Leeds United, and after Millwall beat Tranmere 3-1 away last weekend, they will be high on confidence and hoping for the win that could move them to the top of the League One table, should results go their way.

Table topping Scunthorpe United face a tricky trip to Cheltenham Town, who have had a mini-revival under new manager Martin Allen and will be hoping to keep up their recent form after a 4-3 win over Colchester United last weekend.

Seond placed Leicester City are away to third placed Oldham in another huge match in League One, with Oldham looking to keep up their form after a 4-0 thrashing of Hereford United at Boundary Park last weekend, whilst the MK Dons, who occupy the final play-off spot, are away to twenty-third placed Crewe.

Team News:

The only absentee for Ronnie Moore this weekend is striker Craig Curran, with the youngster, who has scored twice in seven appearances this season for Tranmere, out of this fixture with a chest injury. However, both Ian Goodison and Edrissa Sonko return from international duty and both are expected to fit straight back into the team at the expense of Godwin Antwi and Chris Shuker. Ronnie Moore could also drop Chris Greenacre and start with George O'Callaghan in the 4-5-1 formation that was so successful at Carlisle two weeks ago.

Jones' Prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Tranmere Rovers

If Tranmere can pick up a point from this match, I'm sure most Rovers fans will be happy with the result, as it will mean they go four unbeaten on the road. However, after three consecutive home league defeats, Tranmere could most certainly do with a win as they look to push themselves back up towards the play-off places.

In recent weeks, mainly at Prenton Park, the problem for Tranmere has been a lack of creativity in midfield, with Steven Jennings looking off colour and Ronnie Moore not keen on dropping the 23-year old midfielder.

In the five man midfield at Carlisle, Rovers brought George O'Callaghan into the side, and Irishman was able to add that creative edge of the Rovers side, seeing and playing passes that none of the other Tranmere midfielders are capable of doing.

It is therefore hugely important that O'Callaghan, or indeed Charlie Barnett, play on Saturday, be it in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 formation, as it gives Ronnie Moore's side that extra something going forward that they desperately need.

Leyton Orient will be low on confidence and it will be up to Tranmere to exploit that as they go in search of the three points. With the travelling Super White Army behind them and no doubt in full voice, Tranmere will be capable of putting in a performance of beating the O's, it's just a matter of whether they take the chances that come their way.