Cheltenham Town v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League Two – Jonny-Rocks Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
A tough ask or a tremendous opportunity? Probably a bit of both, but regardless, improving Leyton Orient have given themselves a chance of reaching the Sky Bet League Two play-offs and Peter Kitchen is intrigued to see how it will all pan out.
Of course, despite their recent form, O’s fans will be wary of running before they can walk. But should the O’s return from promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town with three points, the East Londoners will be very much amongst the hunting pack for a top-seven finish to the regular campaign.
“We can’t afford to slip up,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“With only five points separating twelfth-placed Bradford from Newport County in seventh, seven games remaining, and nearly every team both above or below us having a game in hand, every one of those seven games is crucial.
“We have put together a superb late challenge under Jobi and are now unbeaten in seven games including five clean sheets and four wins on the bounce ahead of Easter Monday’s frustrating draw with Walsall – a game seen as two points dropped from a match we expected to win.
“Credit to the Saddlers for the way they outfought and frustrated us. But it did highlight major concerns about our failure to test their keeper or create any clear cut chances during the ninety minutes, something we must put right at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday.”
Nevertheless, Kitch is mindful that Orient faces one of the league’s more polished outfits, adding: “The Robins are favourites to secure one of the automatic promotion places but despite a 4-0 thrashing of promotion rivals Tranmere at home on Good Friday, they were frustrated by bottom club Grimsby Town on Monday.
“Both teams will be going for the win and both have to get something from this game – it promises to be an exciting contest and the O’s will have to be at their very very best if they are to win it.
“We must be aware of and prepared for, Cheltenham’s long throw into the penalty area, a specialism of the Robins – a crucial weapon in their armoury and won them many games over the campaign with their strong, direct approach.
“It’s hard to predict how this game will play out, but the O’s have to defend for their lives and certainly be much better in the final third than they were against Walsall.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Cheltenham Town 2-1 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Cheltenham Town 1-0 Leyton Orient