Wrexham v Leyton Orient
Location: My Racecourse
Competition: Buildbase FA Trophy
Match-Day Guide: Click Here
Wrexham face Vanarama National League leaders Leyton Orient at the Racecourse for the second time this season, with Justin Edinburgh’s side heading to North Wales for the second round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Wrexham qualified for the second round with a 3-0 home win against Boston United before Christmas – Chris Holroyd, Mike Fondop and Paul Rutherford all scoring before the break. The Dragons have played six league games since – drawing 0-0 at Aldershot before back-to-back home wins after Christmas against Salford City and Solihull Moors. Shaun Pearson, Akil Wright, Brad Walker, Ben Tollitt and Holroyd all scored a 5-1 win against the former on Boxing Day, while Rutherford scored the only goal of the game against Solihull. Wrexham are yet to score in 2019, however – losing 2-0 at Salford, 1-0 at home to Dover and, in midweek, 2-0 at Bromley.
Leyton Orient are also going through a tricky spell in the league since earning their place in the second round of the Buildbase FA Trophy by beating Beaconsfield Town 4-0. George Elokobi, James Brophy, Craig Clay and Dale Gorman scored that day, while Josh Koroma, Marvin Ekpiteta and top-scorer Macauley Bonne in the 3-1 league win at home to Chesterfield that followed. Orient have only won of four league games since, however – losing 2-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day, despite Josh Koroma putting them in front with less than 20 minutes to play, before a goalless draw at Dover. Bonne’s 19th goal of the season was enough to win the reverse fixture against Dagenham but they lost 3-0 at home to title rivals Salford last time out.
Wrexham have strengthened up front with the arrival of Cole Stockton on loan from Tranmere and Jason Oswell’s permanent switch from Morecambe, while Bobby Grant has signed a permanent deal after impressing on loan from Fleetwood Town. Paul Rutherford was Wrexham’s last goalscorer, however – and he also netted in the 3-0 defeat of Boston United in the first round of this competition.
Leyton Orient’s danger man is clear: Macauley Bonne opened the scoring late on in the league fixture at the Racecourse, and has scored 19 goals so far this season – most recently the winner against Dagenham & Redbridge. Josh Koroma has nine goals in 28 appearances, while captain Jobi McAnuff has stacks of experience. Of those, only Koroma played in the win against Beaconsfield, however, and if there is similar rotation this time it could mean a return to the Racecourse for Jordan Maguire-Drew, who scored three goals on loan at Wrexham at the start of this season.
The most recent match between Wrexham and Leyton Orient saw Orient pull clear at the top of the Vanarama National League with a late 2-0 win at the Racecourse in November – Macauley Bonne and James Brophy netting. Wrexham are yet to beat Orient since their relegation to the National League – Chris Holroyd scored twice in a 2-2 draw at the Racecourse last season, but first Bonne and then Mark Ellis grabbed equalisers, before Bonne scored the winner at the Matchroom Stadium back in April. In total, we have played Orient 35 times and won and drawn 11 of those games.
Rekeil Pyke returned as a substitute in the defeat at Bromley, but defenders Doug Tharme and Manny Smith remain sidelined. That has prompted Wrexham boss Graham Barrow to sign Kieran Kennedy from Shrewsbury Town, with paperwork submitted for the former Manchester City academy player. Jason Oswell and Cole Stockton both made their Wrexham debuts in the defeat to Bromley, meanwhile. Christian Dibble could return in goal, having started the first round game against Boston United.
You can listen to free live commentary from Wrexham AFC on Mixlr as well as keep up to date on our social media channels. Highlights will be available with the first word from the manager and players post-match on our YouTube Channel.