Essam back at Dover

Leyton Orient defender Connor Essam wins the ball in the air against Bristol Rovers Rory Gaffney (pi

Leyton Orient defender Connor Essam wins the ball in the air against Bristol Rovers Rory Gaffney (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Young defender has gone back to National League club on loan

Leyton Orient defender Connor Essam has rejoined former club Dover Athletic on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old captained the Whites last year, but departed in the summer in search of a return to the professional game.

He linked up with Ian Hendon and Andy Hessenthaler at Brisbane Road after previously being with the pair at Gillingham.

Initially the young central defender made an excellent impression and started the O’s first 18 matches in all competition.

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Alongside captain Mathieu Baudry, the former Crawley Town ace looked very assured and demonstrated his obvious talent.

But he ruptured ankle ligaments against Accrington Stanley on October 31 and didn’t return until Boxing Day against Portsmouth.

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Essam didn’t seem fully fit, though, and make a number of uncharacteristic mistakes before Hendon was sacked.

He started under Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan, but lost his place after a poor performance against Cambridge United at the end of January.

Now the former Dover man will hope to inspire the National League club to the Football League.

The Whites are fourth in the table and currently in the play-offs with nine more matches of the campaign remaining.

After only signing a one-year deal in the summer, Essam will hope to either impress O’s enough to get another contract or catch the eye of potential suitors.

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