Give Cheltenham Town loanee Dan Holman a run of games before he is labelled another misfiring Leyton Orient forward
- Credit: Archant
The former Colchester United forward has scored once in eight games for the O’s, but shouldn’t be written off just yet!
It is fair to say Dan Holman has not had the best of times in east London so far, but it would be a mistake if Leyton Orient weren’t to persist with the forward.
The 27-year-old has only played eight times for O’s since joining on loan until the end of the season from Cheltenham Town on January 3.
Holman came in with the remit of helping ease the pressure on Orient’s top goalscorer Macauley Bonne, but due to a combination of different reasons, he has yet to set the world alight in E10.
One goal is all he has to show for his time in Brisbane Road to date and some would fairly argue his solitary effort shouldn’t even go down as his goal.
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It occurred against Tranmere Rovers on February 10 and took a deflection, but Holman’s not been helped by several issues.
The first was two weeks without a game before he moved to O’s at the start of January as his last outing prior to the loan move was on December 23 for Boreham Wood.
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After signing for Orient, he was an unused substitute during the 0-0 draw with Boreham Wood on January 6 and then ineligibility and postponements halted his efforts to get match fit.
He couldn’t play for the O’s at Bognor Regis Town (January 13) and a week later the fixture at Halifax Town was postponed.
It meant Holman had to wait until January 27 to make his long-awaited Orient debut during a 3-2 home defeat to Aldershot Town - his first competitive minutes for four weeks.
Although the forward missed a late opportunity, he showed a lot of encouraging signs in the game with Bonne and helped Justin Edinburgh’s team win at Halifax a few days later.
When he seemed to be getting up to speed, another Trophy tie (Dover Athletic) forced him to sit out a match on February 3 and then he ‘netted’ against Rovers seven days later.
Holman played his part in the 1-0 victories at AFC Fylde (February 17) and Chester (February 20) in February – winning a penalty at the Coasters and again looking lively against the Blues.
And just as he was getting up to speed again, Orient resumed their Trophy campaign and he had to sit out another game (Gateshead), thus losing more momentum.
He returned for the 1-0 loss at Dover (March 3) but then missed the replay with the Heed and struggled during the draw with Ebbsfleet United, which saw him benched against Torquay United.
By all accounts Holman didn’t offer much at Eastleigh either, but this is a forward who scored over 30 goals in the National League two seasons ago. The talent’s there, he just needs a run of games.
Missing matches not only disrupts Holman’s flow, but what also needs to be considered is the change to his training schedule.
Whenever Orient would be in Trophy action, the striker would have to sit out tactical work on a Friday and it is potentially another reason why he has struggled in E10 so far.
Holman’s time in Brisbane Road reminds me of John Marquis’ three-month spell at O’s during the 2015/16 season.
The forward, on-loan from Millwall at the time, struggled to show his true quality under Ian Hendon, but impressed at Northampton Town following the conclusion of his loan with Orient.
Marquis has since gone on to fire Doncaster Rovers to promotion and has hit double figures in League One this season.
The hope will be Holman can rediscover his form soon and show why he is regarded as a lethal goalscorer in the National League.
Saturday should see the ex-Braintree Town hitman face one of his former clubs in the shape of Woking.
Holman shone during the first-half of the 2014/15 season with the Cards and with a bit of luck he can haunt his old side this weekend and again show everyone what he is capable of.