As far as Leyton Orient are concerned, it all started for us with our famous FA Cup Round Two win at theirs in December 1996. And that’s despite the ref’s failure to send off Peter Shilton that afternoon. Of course, times between us and the Os became more frequent after our promotion to the Football League. Mind you, that did get put on ice a little when they saw the sights of non-league football for themselves. They weren’t the first to go through that purgatory and they won’t be the last. The fact is it was only temporary.
On their return to the Football League in summer 2019, the Os were rocked by the passing of manager Justin Edinburgh. But the Os did him proud in their first season back in League Two; a resilient campaign laying the foundations for moving upwards in the seasons to come. And that they did; cruising to the title in 2023 ahead of Boro’ in second. It meant that both clubs would rise up into League One together. Based on the battles that were had in the 2022-3 campaign, it hopefully guaranteed a couple of tasty encounters in the third tier.
Leyton Orient: The Facts
Breyer Group Stadium
Brisbane Road, Leyton, London, E10 5NF
Now, we’ve a fair bit to get through with the Os; not least because their name itself isn’t what you’d call ‘usual’ in footballing terms. But, we’ll give it a go anyway. The club’s existence owes much to cricket; the club formed by cricket club members in 1881. First, it was Eagle Cricket Club (1886); ‘Orient’ first came about in 1888. Now, there’s plenty on Wikipedia that we don’t need (or want) to repeat. We will, however, wrap up the evolution of their name: Clapton Orient (1898), Leyton Orient (1937), Orient (1966) and back to Leyton Orient (1987).
In 1905, the Os became members of the Football League for the first time. In the long stretch of time between then and relegation to the Conference last term, the club has only two titles to its name: Division Three South in 1955-6 and Division Three in 1969-70. Yet, this doesn’t quite do the Os full justice. In the 1961-2 Division Two campaign, the club came second behind Liverpool and earned promotion to the top flight. Although the return to Div Two was immediate, they let in the same number of goals as Man Utd (81) – and 20 fewer than Man City!
Why do we know the Os?
Our first meeting with the Os was before we made it into the Football League. Yet, this was December 1996 – and you can well argue that we should have been a League side at this point in time. It didn’t hinder us, mind you; Boro’ upsetting the Os on their own patch in FA Cup Round Two. Peter Shilton (yeah, that one) should’ve seen red, but that’s almost beside the point now. And that was that for the next 15 years; Boro’s efforts to win the Conference title a second time taking that long to come to fruition. Good things come to those who wait…
How to get to Leyton Orient – Travel Information – Distance: 33 miles
Located in the east end of London, this trip first involves heading south on the A1(M) to join the clockwise M25. Come off at Junction 24, taking the fourth exit at the roundabout for the A111. Keep going on this road until you’re in New Southgate, before turning right onto Osidge Lane (B1453).
Facing the Osidge Arms pub on a roundabout, take the first exit for Hampton Way. Go straight over the next two roundabouts, before taking the first exit at the third to go left onto Wilmer Way (B1452). Just a short toot onwards, it’s a right onto Powys Lane.
As the road snakes round to the right, bear left onto Broomfield Lane and go across one roundabout onto Oakthorpe Road. This comes past Palmers Green Mosque; shortly after which you’ll be turning onto the A406 North Circular. Stay on here for about 5.5 miles, before coming off for the A104.
At this junction, take the third exit on the roundabout for the A104 and stay on this road. When you get to Knotts Green, bear left for Leyton Green Road (B159); taking this into Leyton. Go left to stay on the B159 in a third of a mile, before turning left onto the A112. After nearly a mile, take a right (Windsor Road) and then left for Brisbane Road.
No parking is available at the ground, which isn’t exactly uncommon. As a residential area, the temptation is to park on-street. And there are some spaces to find. But these are really limited in number. In all fairness, the car is not a great option for the Os away.
Services to: LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET
The walk from Leyton tube station is a short one and won’t take you very long at all. Head north on High Road Leyton/A112 and turn left onto Osborne Road after around 0.2 miles.
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