Leyton Orient v Sutton United – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
Despite extending their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two sequence to six matches, a clutch of draws has left Leyton Orient frustratingly hovering just outside the play-off places and desperate not to lose further ground on those clubs occupying the automatic promotion spots.
Indeed, five of those six outings have ended all square and with a little ground to recover, former frontman, Peter Kitchen has called upon the East Londoners to rediscover the ruthless form which saw them brush aside Hartlepool United by five unanswered goals just three weeks ago.
O’s host Sutton United – themselves a club with promotion aspirations following promotion from the National League last season: “It’s a crucial match as we need to start beating our immediate rivals,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“Sutton are one place above us in the table, two points better off. Three points for Orient is a ‘must’ against a side that have been notably better on the road.
“They have suffered similar inconsistencies to us. However, away wins at Tranmere, Colchester and Crawley suggests that they will be difficult to break down and dangerous opponents.”
Kitchen continued: “The onus is on us, as the home team, to take the initiative and the game to a Sutton side keen to avoid defeat at all costs.
“We have become draw specialists – nine of out sixteen matches ending in a stalemate – the highest number in the division.
“This isn’t a criticism. This season, the solid defence has been a basis, keeping us in touch with the leaders when our form in front of goal dipped. But now is the time to push on and get back amongst the top-seven.
“We need to get the balance right at both ends of the pitch – be a lot more ruthless in attack when we are on top, maintaining our concentration for the full ninety minutes when under pressure. These factors have seen us drop vital points – drawn games when we should have won.
“I believe we have two very winnable matches this week, following up with a trip to bottom of the table Scunthorpe United on Tuesday evening. I’m sure Kenny Jackett is fully aware that he needs to get his team completely focused on taking all six points on offer.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Sutton United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Sutton United