Leyton Orient v Harrogate Town: Sulphurites looking to meet next challenge head-on

Having begun 2021-22 with back-to-back victories, Simon Weaver says his Harrogate Town players are ready for the next challenge.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 7:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 8:08 am
Harrogate Town have lost on both of their previous visits to Leyton Orient without managing to score a goal. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites, who were hit by a Covid-19 outbreak earlier this month, visit Leyton Orient this evening to contest their first away fixture of the campaign following home wins over Rochdale and Barrow.

“It’s exciting because we’ve got some new lads in there who have done ever so well and it’s another challenge for them to meet head-on,” said Weaver.

“They [Orient] are a big outfit, a very experienced team, so it won’t be easy at all, but we just want challenges and this is the next challenge coming up.

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver.

“We should be confident after six points from two games. That’s alleviated the pressure somewhat, so we can go into the game with the same attacking intent, but knowing that we’ve got to value a point, probably more than we did last year.

"It's an altogether different proposition. We're expecting probably 5,000 supporting Leyton Orient, they're a very passionate bunch their supporters, so it's a good opportunity to show resolve when we're up against it numerically in the stands."

The five players who tested positive for coronavirus following Harrogate's opening-day success over Rochdale are all said to have recovered, with three of them managing to play 90 minutes against Barrow at the weekend.

Thus, left-back Lewis Page is Town's only real injury doubt having suffered a gash to his face following a clash of heads inside the first minute of Saturday’s 2-1 win.

“We’ll see how he is,” Weaver added. “It’s bad cut he had under his cheek-bone, but we’re expecting him to be fine.

"He’ll be desperate to play because he was so up for it the other day but within 30 seconds he was having to come off with a facial injury. It’s disappointing for us and for the lad, but he’s the only one who we will just have to check.”

Town, currently seventh in the League Two standings, have a poor record against Orient, who sit 11th having won one and drawn two of their opening three fixtures.

Weaver's men suffered home and away defeats to the O's in the National League back in 2018/19 without scoring a goal.

That theme continued into last season, with the Wetherby Road outfit going down 3-0 at Brisbane Road in November as Danny Johnson hit a hat-trick.

Their run of three consecutive defeats was however brought to an end the last time the teams met, loanees Dan Jones and Josh McPake netting second-half equalisers during a 2-2 draw in North Yorkshire on April 13.