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Orient should prepare to face improved Stones team in FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 October 2018

Charlie Lee looks to beat former Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir to the ball (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Charlie Lee looks to beat former Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir to the ball (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Harry Wheeler has made Maidstone much better defensively since taking over last month

The draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup took place this afternoon and Leyton Orient will visit Maidstone United.

It is a tricky tie for the O’s as they will once again travel to a fellow National League club at this stage of tournament for the second year in a row.

Last season, Orient had to take on local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge and eventually made it through to the first round, but only after a replay.

Gillingham knocked the O’s out soon after to end the FA Cup journey for another year and yet already it is back.

Orient will visit Kent again in two Saturdays time, on October 20, looking to pocket £25,000 in prize money and aiming to make sure they play in the first round proper.

Not since the 1907/08 term have O’s competed in the FA Cup and failed to take part in the first round and that will be the aim for this campaign.

It will be tough for Justin Edinburgh’s team as they do battle with a new, improving Stones side.

Since Harry Wheeler took over from Jay Saunders in the middle of September, the Kent outfit have won two of their five league fixtures.

Maidstone have improved a great deal defensively keeping two clean sheets in that same period and only conceding on only four occasions.

Orient can expect to come up against a familiar face in the shape of Blair Turgott, who spent a season playing in E10 back in the 2015/16 term.

While the winger struggled to make his mark at Brisbane Road, he has flourished at the Gallagher Stadium and is an integral part of Maidstone’s attacking threat.

Already this season he has netted eight times in 12 league appearances and he will be out to get some revenge on his old club later this month.

Orient can draw positives from the last meeting between the teams back on August 14 in what ended up being the O’s first win of the campaign.

After starting the season with three consecutive draws, Edinburgh’s side made the trip over the Dartford Crossing to take on Maidstone and ran out 2-1 winners.

Josh Koroma and Marvin Ekpiteta were on target and despite some late pressure, Orient held on. The O’s would certainly take a repeat result on October 20.

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