Following Yeovil’s victory over Brentford in the play-off final at Wembley yesterday, the make-up of League 1 is complete for the 2013-14 season.
Having already assessed the sides dropping down into League 1 here, with Yeovil joining Bournemouth, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Portsmouth, Bury, Hartlepool in sides leaving League 1 for pastures new and the League 2 play-off final being completed on Saturday, we now know the 23 opponents we will be playing in the league next season.
Coming up from League Two are Gillingham who return to the division for the first time since the 2009-10 season and the history books suggest that the contest could be a close one as the O’s narrowly have the better of the records against the Kent club over the years with 24 wins against the Gills’ 23 with 17 draws.
Joining them are Rotherham who finished the season strongly to seal automatic promotion. The sides have not faced each other since the 2006-07 season but historically the Millers have had the better of things with 26 wins compared to our 13 whilst there have been 19 draws. Despite the sides only facing each other twice in the last decade, O’s fans will have great memories of a trip to Rotherham following the play-off penalty shoot-out victory in 1999. It will also be an opportunity to visit at new stadium as the Millers moved to the New York Stadium in 2012.
In third place was Port Vale who won promotion with the help of Orient loanee Anthony Griffith. Like the Millers, Orient have historically struggled against the Staffordshire side having won only 15 times to Vale’s 32 with eight draws. The sides have only played each other four times in the last 20 years.
On Saturday Bradford City capped a remarkable season by winning the play-off final against Northampton Town to return to League 1 after being relegated in 2007. The last league meeting between the O’s and the Bantams was in April of that year when Martin Ling’s men dug deep to record a 2-0 win at Valley Parade to secure their status in the league. Historically the O’s have had the better of the meetings between the two with 16 wins to the Yorkshire club’s 11 with ten draws.
The full League 1 line-up for next season:
Preston North End