Team News: Leyton Orient vs Eastleigh
PUBLISHED: 14:00 09 April 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Justin Edinburgh may make changes to his O's team for the visit of Paul McCallum's Spitfires with Marvin Ekpiteta available again
Leyton Orient will have Marvin Ekpiteta back for the National League home fixture with Eastleigh this evening and it is a timely boost ahead of what feels a huge game.
If O’s can win, they will return to the summit and move two points clear of current leaders Salford City and a draw will take them top too, but another defeat would see the title no longer in their own hands.
A positive for the promotion-chasers is Ekpiteta’s availability again after his sending off at Bromley last week while during the 2-2 draw with Halifax Town on Saturday, Orient’s substitutes made a big difference.
Matt Harrold scored, James Dayton had a shot blocked in the build-up and all of this only occurred after Jordan Maguire-Drew’s corner.
Sam Ling didn’t even get on, but it shows the quality of players not able to get into the O’s starting XI at the moment.
Edinburgh said: “I am pleased for Jordan to be back so soon and we had ‘Lingy’ on the bench again.
“Jordan has come on, so we are gathering more members of the squad as we go along and he had an impact as did all the subs. Dayton did well and so did Matty.”
The Orient manager will now ponder whether to start any of the aforementioned players for the visit of seventh-placed Eastleigh.
Harrold looks the most likely after his goal, but will it be top goalscorer Macauley Bonne who misses out or February signing Jay Simpson?
“It is nice to have a selection headache and that is what I want,” Edinburgh said. “I want to be making tough decisions rather than having them made for me.”
He is also pleased most of O’s players are returning to fitness, rather than picking up injuries, although Jobi McAnuff remains a concern.
Orient’s captain suffered a groin issue in the goalless draw at Barnet on March 30 and hasn’t played since.
Regardless, Edinburgh noted: “You never want injuries and whenever they come, they come at the wrong time, but we are getting players back at the right time because there are a lot of games to be played - big games - and we need every player we can.”
The O’s will hope McAnuff can play a part this evening, even if it is only off the bench, and Jamie Turley (hamstring) could be involved in the squad too for a game Orient simply have to win.