Pre-Season: The Lowdown

access_time 9 years ago

ORIENT’S programme of pre-season friendlies gets underway next week with a trip to Conference South outfit Sutton United.

It begins a schedule of five friendlies as Russell Slade’s men prepare for the season opener at Charlton Athletic in the Capital One Cup and here we profile all of our opponents.

Sutton United (a) Wednesday July 18, 7.45pm

Orient return to action in south London when they take on Blue Square Bet South side Sutton United.

Sutton, who play at the Borough Sports Ground in Gander Green Lane, finished fourth in the second tier of non-league football last term, missing out on promotion when they lost to Welling United in the play-off semi-finals.

They count former O’s men Harry Beautyman and Simon Downer amongst their ranks and Wednesday’s match also opens their pre-season campaign.

Tickets for this match are priced at £10 adults, £5 senior citizens and £2 for under-16s.

Ebbsfleet United (a) Saturday July 21, 3pm

The O’s next opposition come from the next division up as they take on Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Park.

The Kent side play their football in Blue Square Bet Premier and have been regular pre-season opponents for the O’s over the years.

THey finished 14th in their division last season and also possess a former O’s man in their squad in the shape of midfielder Ram Marwa, who came through the Brisbane Road ranks.

Dartford (a) Saturday July 28, 3pm

It’s another trip to Kent the following weekend when Orient play newly promoted Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Dartford.

The Princes Park club won their place in the top flight of non-league football by triumphing in the Conference South play-offs last term, beating Welling 1-0 in the final.

Orient travelled to Dartford two years ago for a friendly when an O’s XI outfit forced a 2-2 draw.

Tickets for this match are priced at £12 adults, £6 concessions and £2 for children.

Luton Town (a) Saturday August 4, 3pm

THe O’s toughest test of pre-season is set to come from Luton Town, who were playing League 1 games against the O’s as recently as the 2007/08 campaign.

They are now in Blue Square Bet Premier following a series of relegations from the Championship down not helped by financial problems.

The Hatters have only missed out on promotion back to the League in the last two seasons by the narrowest of margins – losing on penalties to AFC Wimbledon in the play-off final of 2010/11 and to York City at the same stage last year.

Orient triumphed on their last visit to Kenilworth Road thanks to a goal from Jabo Ibehre in a tighly-contested game that ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Maidstone United (a) Wednesday August 8, 7.45pm

Orient will hone their preparations with their final friendly away at Ryman League outfit Maidstone United.

The non-leaguers are heading back to their home town this summer with the opening of the Gallagher Stadium and this pre-season friendly is one of the first events to be staged there.

They are also taking on npower Football League sides Brighton & Hove Albion and Dagenham & Redbridge to get life in their new stadium started.

In addition to the five games open to the public, the O’s will also be taking part in two training ground matches as part of their pre-season programme.