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Team News: Leyton Orient vs Halifax Town

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 April 2019

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold celebrates after scoring in the first-half at AFC Telford United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold celebrates after scoring in the first-half at AFC Telford United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O’s will be without Marvin Ekpiteta, but Matt Harrold will return following his recent red card at AFC Telford United

Justin Edinburgh will have Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold back and available for selection for today’s National League home match with Halifax Town and it will be a big boost for the O’s.

It has not always been this way for the striker who grew up in Woodford, but over the last few months he has proved his worth for the club.

After struggling for fitness and form during the 2017/18 campaign, Harrold took some time to get going again this season, but since the turn of the year has been a key cog in the Orient wheel, which continues to aim for a historic ‘Non-League Double’.

Without his contribution in fact O’s hopes of FA Trophy success may be over given he netted in cup wins at Wrexham, Brackley Town and AFC Telford United.

His goal at New Bucks Head was his fifth of the season and continued his good form, but a red card later in the first half saw him miss Orient’s last three games.

In his absence, Edinburgh’s team managed to win at home to AFC Fylde, but could only draw at Barnet and lose 2-1 away to Bromley.

Jay Simpson started the defeat at Hayes Lane on Tuesday, but failed to impress and could find himself displaced for Harrold if O’s stick with the 3-4-1-2 formation.

Marvin Ekpiteta’s sending off in the week means he will be absent for the battle with the Shaymen and it could force Orient into a system rethink.

If they wish to continue with three centre-backs, it seems likely Edinburgh will have to put left-back Joe Widdowson there alongside Dan Happe and Josh Coulson.

This would see James Brophy play left wing-back, but alternatively the leaders could switch back to a 4-4-2 and hand James Dayton a starting role.

Sam Ling is expected to be in contention again after a recent hamstring injury too and is set to replace Alex Lawless on the right.

Orient may have to cope without Jobi McAnuff though, who continues to struggle with a minor groin problem while Myles Judd (hamstring), Jordan Maguire-Drew (calf) and Jamie Turley (hamstring) remain absent.

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