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Match Previews

🔍 Opposition: Leyton Orient (A)

Jed Penberthy's lowdown on the O's

13 August 2021

Grecians fans are back on the road this Saturday and a trip to the capital is first up for Exeter City.Ahead of the fixture against Leyton Orient, here is an overview of our hosts this weekend.

  • Founded: 1881
  • Nickname: The O’s
  • League Honours: Division 3 South (1955/56), Division 3 (1969/70)
  • Home Kit: NEW BALANCE Red shirt with dark trim, Red shorts, and red socks
  • Away Kit: NEW BALANCE Luminous green shirt, green shorts and socks.
  • Last Season: 11th in League Two P 46 | W 17 | D 10 | L 19 | Pts 61
  • Form: DD (10th in League Two)

There is some doubt over the foundation of Leyton Orient Football Club in their earliest history. The most favoured version is that the football club stemmed from members of Glyn Cricket Club, who’d keep fit in winter by playing football. Eventually many of the employees of the Orient Shipping Line became involved and so name Orient Football Club was chosen in 1888. The name switched three more times before 1987, when Leyton Orient became the permanent name.

In 1903 Orient FC turned professional, and in 1905 were inducted into Division 2. Orient lost their inaugural Football League fixture 2-1 to Leicester Fosse, and were relegated back to non-league soon after. They returned to the Football League in 1929 and stayed until 1956 when they won their first major honour- winning the Division 3 title under the guidance of Alec Stock. In 1962 Orient were promoted into Division 1, but their stay in the top tier lasted three years and they haven’t managed to return since.

Leyton Orient began the 20th Century in Division 2 (The Championship) but were relegated to Div 3 in 2004. Between 2006-15 Orient resided in League One but a fall in recent years saw them relegated to the National League in 2017. The 2018/19 season Orient finished top of the Conference and returned to League Two where they finished 17th on PPG.

This season’s home shirt sponsor comes from ex-orient loanee and current England captain Harry Kane, who has donated his sponsorship to the club who gifted him his first senior games. Kane is a Patron of the Tommy Club, a charity set up by the Royal British Legion celebrating and supporting veterans. Orient have continued their charitable sponsorship to Haven House Children’s Hospice and Mind for their Away and Third kits.

The Manager

Kenny Jackett

Embarking on his seventh adventure on the EFL touchline, success-soaked Kenny Jackett put pen-to-paper with the London club over the Summer. The former Wales international earned 31 caps in his playing career along with over 300 appearences for boyhood club Watford.

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Jackett has won promotions with Swansea and Millwall as well as setting a new League One record of 103 points with champions Wolves in 2013/14. More recently, Jackett won the EFL Trophy with Portsmouth in 2019 beating Sunderland on penalties.

Jackett is set to manage his 900th game this season dating back to 1996 making him one of the most experienced bosses in English football.

The Ground

  • Name: The Breyer Group Stadium (Brisbane Road)
  • Capacity: 9,271
  • Year opened: 1937
  • Address: Brisbane Road, Leyton, London, E10 5NF

Originally known as Osborne Road, the East London ground has been home to Leyton Orient (and versions of) for over 80 years. The ground has seen many redevelopments in its time. It’s first seated stand in 1956 was plucked from the old Mitcham Stadium and subsequent promotions has usually allowed the ‘O’s to expand and modernise.

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After the building of the 2012 Olympic Stadium, Barry Hearn and Leyton Orient registered their interest in taking over the ground, but the average attendance meant the bid failed in favour of West Ham United. 

In November last year, the reputation of Brisbane Road was enhanced ten-fold when YouTube sensations ‘The Sidemen’ began sponsoring the ground. The group, formed by gamer; rapper; boxer; and all-round celebrity KSI, now use the home of Leyton Orient to record their popular football challenges- which is shown to their worldwide audience.

The main stand at Brisbane Road is named after former manager Justin Edinburgh, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 49. The left-back had a great playing career with over 200 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur through the 90’s winning the FA Cup in 1990/91 and the League Cup in 1998/99.

As a manager, Justin Edinburgh championed Leyton Orient back into the Football League in 2018/19 season. The stand was renamed in honour of Edinburgh in January 2020.

One to Watch

Darren Pratley

Jackett’s rebuild has started in midfield with the acquisition of new club captain Darren Pratley. The 36-year-old comes to Brisbane Road with a wealth of experience in the higher levels of the Football League.

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Beginning at Fulham, Pratley only managed a single appearance for The Cottagers, as a successful loan to Brentford earned him a move to Swansea City. In 2009, Pratley became a cult hero in South Wales with a brace against Cardiff, before being called-up to John Barnes’ Jamaica side, though Pratley has yet to earn a cap for the Reggae Boyz.

Seven years at Bolton Wanderers followed, taking the armband from Matt Mills in 2015. Pratley was soon on the move again to London with Charlton prior to joining Jackett in East London.   

Head to Head

It’s not often Exeter City get touted as a bogey team, but recent readings between the two clubs will put a smile on City fan’s faces. Exeter are unbeaten in the last eight fixtures against the O’s with six wins in that time. Orient will be looking to break their 9-year duck against the Grecians come Saturday.

The overall picture balances the books, however. There have been 91 fixtures in 80 years between the two teams and nearly 300 goals have been scored. City’s record victory over Orient was two 6-1 victories in 1931 and 51.

Exeter City Wins: 33

Draws: 26

Leyton Orient Wins: 33

Recent Encounters

Exeter City 4-0 Leyton Orient | League Two | St James Park | 6th March 2021

Matt Jay netted his first senior hat trick in a thumping victory at St James Park after Joel Randall opened the scoring.  

Leyton Orient 1-1 Exeter City | League Two | Breyer Group Stadium |27th October 2020

Jake Taylor’s cultured finish meant the shares were spoiled, extending City’s unbeaten run to seven.

Exeter City 2-2 Leyton Orient | League Two | St James Park | 14th September 2019

Nicky Law’s stoppage time penalty rescued a point for Exeter to maintain the Grecians unbeaten start to the 2019/20 season.

And Finally…

On 7th February 1926 Albert Pape travelled with the Orient team to play Manchester United only to find himself transferred to the Red Devils 90 minutes before kick-off. Pape who was Orient’s top scorer that season played in the game for United and scored their third in a 4-2 win against his former side.


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