… if we want to be generous about the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Now before we get sniffy about the competition, shall we remind ourselves about the FA Trophy. If you’re aiming to get promoted to the Football League and striving for an attracting FA Cup Third Round tie in January, the FA Trophy might not always have been top priority (certainly before 2007) for Boro’. So what’s different now?
We still want to bring Manchester United to the Lamex Stadium in the FA Cup. And we are still looking to advance our Football League cause. So – where does that leave the JPT? It is in exactly the same place the FA Trophy was in. It is a chance to nab some silverware and a chance to go to Wembley (again) – what’s not to love? And as we go up against the might of Leyton Orient, we’re just three wins from Wembley.
For GW, there are probably two ways to approach this tie – 1) change nothing or 2) change everything. Now we’re assuming that we’re rather keen to go back to Wembley, so option 2 doesn’t make much sense. You could bring one or two players into the equation, but it’d be surprising at the least if we made a bundle of changes. And yes that is the correct collective noun. We checked.
Of course, we could sit here and not bother – on every occasion Leyton Orient have come to our gaff, they’ve gone home with a 1-0 win; not since the time we went to E10 back in 1996 have both teams scored in this fixture. That means someone usually draws a blank – and it has been us on four of the five times we’ve come up against the O’s in the league. That said, this ain’t the league, it’s a goddamn cup game. Little Fall Out Boy thing going on there…
Day; Smith, Ashton, Jones, Freeman; Tansey, Heslop, Doughty, Andrade; Burrow, Zoko
Scenting the possibility of a changed line-up on Tuesday evening, we decided that it was a good time to rest Filipe Morais and give Jordan Burrow some game time. For a brief spell, it was looking like a foolish decision to make; the visitors making the most of some rather poor defending to take the lead midway through the first half. More annoying was the fact we had been bossing the game to that point.
In fact, we were making a mockery of Leyton Orient’s claim to being top guns in League 1; with ease we broke through the defence, but squandered chances. The equaliser wasn’t too long in coming after the break through Francois Zoko, but we couldn’t find the winner. We went to pelanties, and despite Jimmy Smith missing his spotkick, Boro’ went on to win the shootout 7-6 and earned us a little bit more XP.
James Adcock – Mr Adcock is our man in the middle for the visit of Leyton Orient and has overseen a Stevenage game just five times. You only have to go back as far as 2009 for the first time he took charge of a Boro’ game (at home to Oxford); the most recent was Tranmere at home last season. You may also like to know that, while he has sent off one Boro’ player (Peter Vincenti v Histon in 2009), we are yet to lose when Mr Adcock has been in charge.
Our record under James Adcock:
P5 W3 D2 L0 F11 A3 — Yellow: 8, Red: 1
This season, James Adcock has refereed 10 games, including six in the Championship. He has brandished 33 yellow cards and one red card (Huddersfield Town’s James Vaughan); an average of 3.3 yellows per game.
It’s no surprise that bookies are throwing themselves at the feet of Orient here, with just two defeats so far this campaign. If you fancy the away win, Coral is the best option (21/20). It does means you can get attractive prices on a Boro’ win; 29/10 available at BetVictor. Meanwhile, tradition suggests Under 2.5 goals and Both Teams Not To Score in this fixture and Paddy Power give you 23/10 on Francois Zoko any time. At the time of writing…