We turn our attentions to Saturday’s action with a full and in-depth preview of Leyton Orient’s visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Pools v Leyton Orient
Saturday 9th February 2019, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium
Leyton Orient have stormed to the top of the National League table and look in with a good shout of regaining their EFL status at the second time of asking.
The O’s toppled out of League Two alongside Pools in 2016/17 amidst financial uncertainty and ownership concerns which led to prolonged protests from the club’s supporters.
It was a welcome development when Orient fan and Dunkin’ Donuts Chief Executive Nigel Travis led a takeover consortium during the summer after relegation and that has helped to stabilise things in E10.
The appointment of Justin Edinburgh and wise investment on and off the pitch has subsequently seen the club prosper in 2018/19 and they tasted defeat just three times in the first four months of the current campaign.
Their form has been a little less predictable since the turn of the year but they have responded well to a potentially damaging defeat to rivals Salford City at the start of last month to win three out of the last four in all competitions.
Macauley Bonne became only the second player this season to hit 20 National League goals when he hit the net twice in Orient’s 3-0 triumph over Maidstone United two weeks ago.
The dangerous front man has been a key factor in The O’s surge to the top of the table and his goals could be the difference between automatic promotion and play-offs.
A former Colchester United trainee, Bonne arrived at Orient in the summer of 2017 following loan spells at Woking and Lincoln City and he’s rarely looked back since.
Pools are now one of just four clubs in the National League that Bonne hasn’t scored against in the past two seasons and Craig Hignett will hope that stat remains unchanged after the weekend.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 42nd competitive meeting between the two sides and Pools just about have the edge historically having won 21 times in comparison to Orient’s 20 successes.
Pools did the double over The O’s last term, winning 2-1 at Brisbane Road in September thanks to goals from Jonathan Franks and Rhys Oates before Louis Laing’s strike was enough to seal a crucial three points at The Vic in April.
It was stalemate when the sides met in the capital earlier this season – the goalless draw was the first time the clubs had shared the points in ten meetings.
Saturday 13th October 2018
Leyton Orient 0 Pools 0
Leyton Orient: Brill, Widdowson (s/o 59), Coulson, Ekpiteta, McAnuff, Clay, Dayton (Harrold 80), Judd (Koroma 72), Brophy (Ling 72), Bonne, Alabi.
Subs not used: Sargeant, Lawless.
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Davies, Magnay, Kitching, Featherstone, Woods (Hawkes 81), Noble (Newton 88), Muir, James (Dinanga 83).
Subs not used: Richardson, Hawkins.
It will be Martin Woods on the whistle at The Super 6 Stadium on Saturday as the official takes charge of his fourth Pools game of the season.
Woods is in his first season on the National League’s list of referees and was first a visitor to Pools in September as we drew 1-1 with Aldershot Town.
Since then, he was overseen our 1-0 defeat at Wrexham in October when he sent-off Andrew Davies and our 3-1 defeat to Barnet in front the BT Sport cameras in November.
Woods’ most recent appointment came three weeks ago when he was on duty at Mill Farm for AFC Fylde’s 2-0 win over Wrexham.
Brian Honour will once again be joining Mark Simpson for full live online commentary of Saturday’s game on Pools PlayerHD.
Join the duo at The Super 6 Stadium from 2.50pm as they bring you all the breaking team news and build-up to kick-off against The O’s.
Fans can purchase tickets in advance from The Super 6 Stadium Ticket Office which is open from 12noon until kick-off on Saturday.
We’ll also be opening a Matchday Ticket Office behind the EDC Neale Cooper Stand at 1.30pm for fans to go along and buy their tickets.
Orient have been installed as 1/1 favourites to collect three points on Saturday, with Pools rated a 12/5 shot for a victory and a draw priced up at 23/10 with the bookies.