Kitch keen on another cup run

Leyton Orient v Ebbsfleet United – Emirates FA Cup first round – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Back in form – Scoring goals for fun – There’s plenty to be cheerful about if you are of a Leyton Orient persuasion just now. And ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup first-round tie with Vanarama National League South promotion hopefuls, Ebbsfleet United, Peter Kitchen feels little different.

Kitch played a pivotal role in the O’s reaching an FA Cup semi-final back in 1978, scoring important goals along the way: “This looks like a very favourable cup draw for the O’s,” he told Yellow Sport ahead of the Kent clubs’ visit to E10.

“We ended our goal drought in style, thrashing Hartlepool United 5-0 last weekend. The team and the fans will be buzzing and full of confidence after that performance and scoreline.

“The Ebbsfleet tie will be eagerly anticipated. They are going well in the National South. It’s a dream draw for them. Their players will definitely be up for it. This is a chance to show what they can do against higher league opposition. They will defend for their lives but league form suggests that they also know where the goal is. They will be no pushovers.

“Ebbsfleet are fifth in the National South, four points behind leaders Dartford, but with a game in hand and having won each of their last four, scoring eleven times during that sequence.”

Kitchen continued: “But we must view this as a great opportunity to make further progress. The ultimate aim is to go as far as you can and get a lucrative big draw along the way. However, the cup is renowned for providing shocks. We must not be complacent or show our opponents anything other than total respect if we are to win this tie.

“Kenny Jackett is likely to use this game to give the likes of Paul Smyth, Ruel Sotiriou and Hector Kyprianou and possibly other squad players some game time. But he is too experienced to take the opposition lightly and he will expect and demand the same commitment and work rate from his players whatever team he selects.

“It’s vital that we start well and repeat the same tempo and intensity produced last week against Hartlepool. I expect us to win this game and be in the draw for round two.”

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-0 Ebbsfleet United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 3-0 Ebbsfleet United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]