Vanarama National League – The Hive London – Saturday 30th March 2019 – KO: 15:00
Barnet will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games when they host table toppers Leyton Orient tomorrow afternoon.
The Bees will be going into the game in high spirits after beating Aldershot Town 2-0 at The Hive London on Tuesday night as they also clinched their fourth successive clean sheet. Ephron Mason-Clark opened the scoring in the early stages of the second half before Shaq Coulthirst produced a wonderful strike to ensure the three points with five minutes to go.
It proved to be a day to forget for the Bees in their last meeting with the O’s earlier on in the season as they lost 3-1 at Brisbane Road. Wes Fonguck cancelled out Josh Coulson’s 11th minute opener as both sides entered half-time level pegging. However, it would be Orient who came away with maximum points thanks to second half goals from James Dayton and Macauley Bonne.
Manager: Justin Edinburgh
This season marks Justin Edinburgh’s second in the Orient dug-out and with his side sitting top of the pile, what a season he is having.
The O’s were three points above the relegation zone when he took charge over a year ago but the former defender managed to guide his side to a 13th placed finish come the end of the season.
Edinburgh began his managerial career as a player-coach at Billericay Town in 2003. However, he left his position after just under three years to take charge of semi-professional outfit Fisher Athletic.
During his short spell at the club, he managed to guide them to Isthmian League play-off glory at the end of the 2005-06 season. However, he left after the opening three months of the next campaign.
Grays Athletic was his next destination. Edinburgh joined the side as assistant manager in December 2006 before taking charge himself just one month later. He left The Gravelmen in 2008 before joining Woking, taking up an assistant manager role yet again in a spell that lasted one month.
In October 2008, he became Garry Hill’s number two at Rushden & Diamonds before becoming caretaker manager four months later. He was given the job permanently in April 2009 and guided the side to the Conference Premier play-off semi-finals. Edinburgh left the club in 2011 with the club going into administration.
The Orient boss then went on to claim a runner-up medal in the 2011-12 FA Trophy with Newport County. The following season saw him guide the club to Conference play-off triumph, securing promotion to the Football League. He also claimed the division’s Manager of the Year award for that campaign. Edinburgh helped Newport to a 14th place finish in League Two the following year but left the club the season after with the Exiles in sixth place. He departed Newport for League One side Gillingham but faced the chop just under two years later.
Before arriving at The O’s, Edinburgh was in charge of Northampton Town in a spell that lasted only seven months.
As for his playing career, it started at Southend United where he was part of the side who went on to clinch promotion in the Football League Fourth Division in 1990.
After a short spell on loan at Tottenham, he joined the club permanently in July 1990. Edinburgh won the FA Cup in 1991 before becoming a League Cup champion eight years later. He spent a decade at the London side, making over 200 league appearances.
He then joined Portsmouth in 2000 on loan before penning a permanent deal later that year. He was a Pompey player for three years before departing for Billericay Town.
One to Watch: Macauley Bonne
Striker Macauley Bonne will be going into tomorrow’s game in high spirits after ending his six-game goal drought on Tuesday night, scoring in Orient’s 2-0 win over Fylde.
The 23-year-old, who netted in our last meeting with the O’s, has gone on to become a goal machine since arriving at Brisbane Road in 2017 and he’s only getting better. Last season, Bonne bagged 22 goals and one more this campaign will see him surpass that tally.
The forward has played as high as League One and will promise to be hard work for the Barnet back-line to deal with tomorrow afternoon.
Recent League Form:
Orient, who fly high at the top of the table, are unbeaten since mid-February and haven’t tasted defeat in their last five league games.
A 2-1 victory away at Havant & Waterlooville at the start of the month was quickly followed up by a 3-2 win away at Barrow three days later. They clinched all three points in their next game too, beating fellow promotion chasers Wrexham 1-0. Aldershot were their next opponents and it was a similar story, winning 2-1 at the EBB Stadium. They go into tomorrow’s game off the back of another victory, this time recording a 2-0 win over Fylde on Tuesday.
Orient have also bagged 63 goals this season whilst conceding the least amount of goals in the league with 28. As for their away form, they have won 10 out of their 19 matches on the road this season.
Last 5 league games: WWWWW
Whilst at Tottenham, Shaq Coulthirst was sent out on loan to Orient on a one-month deal in January 2014. He bagged his first goal for the club on his home debut during a 4-0 thumping over Carlisle United. However, he only managed to feature once more for the O’s.
Darren Currie also wore Orient colours during his playing career. Whilst at West Ham, the former midfielder joined the club on loan in 1995 and went on to make 10 appearances.
As for the opposition, goalkeeper Dean Brill spent a year at Barnet after joining from Oldham Athletic in 2011. He made over 30 league appearances that season and helped the club avoid dropping out of the Football League.