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28 January 2023 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Leyton Orient

27 January 2023

Tranmere Rovers are back in action at home to Leyton Orient this weekend following last week's postponement at Doncaster Rovers

Rovers come into the fixture with two out of three results in January looking positive – with draws against Sutton United and Walsall, and a defeat at Crewe Alexandra on New Year’s Day.

The Whites come into the game sitting 15th in the table, but a win could push them up to 10th if results go their way – which could once again put them within touching distance of the play-off places.

Orient come into the game following a disappointing heavy defeat last weekend away at Stevenage – on a run which has seen them win just one fixture since the 17th December.

Prior to the loss at Stevenage, they picked up a point at Barrow and beat Doncaster at home on the second matchday of the new year, before a loss at Northampton and draws against Newport County and Stevenage.

Rovers have played Orient 44 times over the years – the first coming back in 1954, and the last coming in September as Leyton Orient beat Micky Mellon’s side at home by two goals to nil.

One To Watch: Paul Smyth

Paul Smyth is a Northern Irish forward who has played for Saturday’s opposition since the summer of 2021.

He started his career in his hometown of Belfast for Linfield FC, where he featured as a youth player before signing his first contract at the age of 18. He went on to make 52 appearances for the side, scoring 14.

He was then picked up by Queens Park Rangers, where he played for 4 years – featuring in 19 competitive games and scoring 2 goals.

In this time between 2017 and 2021, he enjoyed successful loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Wycombe Wanderers and Charlton Athletic.

In the summer of 2021, he signed permanently for Leyton Orient, where he has become a key player over the last 18 months – featuring 45 times.

He has scored 12 goals, 9 of which coming this season, putting him top of the goalscoring charts for the away side this campaign.

He has also featured for his country from U19 level right up to the First Team – playing 19 times across all age groups, 3 of which for the country – playing three times and scoring once.

The Manager: Richie Wellens

Leyton Orient Manager, Richie Wellens, has had an illustrious playing career, turning into management in 2017 and has managed 5 clubs in the last 6 years.

The gaffer started his career in the youth setup at Manchester United, where he signed a pro in 1999, aged 18. He failed to make an appearance for the Red Devils though, in his 1-year spell, and signed for Blackpool in 2000.

He played 191 times on the North coast, scoring 16 from midfield.

He enjoyed spells at Doncaster Rovers and a very successful spell at Leicester City, as well as times at Doncaster Rovers, Ipswich Town, Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town, Salford City and Macclesfield Town.

He featured 609 times and scored 41 goals across an 18-year playing career.

He returned to Oldham Athletic as Manager in 2017, where he lasted a year in his first job.

He later had management spells at Swindon Town, Salford City and Doncaster Rovers, before joining Leyton Orient this year.

He has guided Orient to top of the table, looking to extend their lead to 5 points this weekend, as well as winning the League Two manager of the month award already this campaign.

Match Coverage:

International supporters can get their match pass to watch the game live on iFollow by clicking here

UK based supporters can listen to full match commentary for as little as £1 per game by getting an audio season pass here.

You can follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report. 

Twitter: @tranmererovers 

Facebook: @trfcofficial 

Instagram: @tranmererovers 

Match reaction from Micky Mellon and a player will follow on our website and YouTube channel.

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Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Leyton Orient

28 January 2023

Tranmere Rovers secured a vital three points with a 1-0 victory over league leaders Leyton Orient at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.

The decisive moment came with eight minutes to play, after Omar Beckles’ own goal proved the difference between the two teams.

Manager Micky Mellon handed a debut to new signing Harvey Saunders, while Brad Walker and Logan Chalmers were on the substitutes bench.

Rovers enjoyed a positive start to the fixture. Josh Dacres-Cogley’s right-sided cross caused pressure to Orient which was eventually defended well by skipper Darren Pratley, who played the ball back to goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

Inside the opening nine minutes, Saunders was involved to create Rovers’ first real chance, as he met Kane Hemmings’ flick on the left to set up Kieron Morris who could not get a clean connection on his volley that went over Vigouroux’s upright.

Richie Wellens’ men from the capital had their first sight of goal on 14 minutes, but Theo Archibald’s 25-yard left-footed shot curled just wide of Mateusz Hewelt’s bottom far post.

Rovers later had a couple of chances midway through the half. Firstly, Morris’ low drive was blocked by Beckles before Hemmings glanced Hawkes’ corner over.

On the half-hour, Kieran Sadlier’s lofted cross fell to Archibald who steered his header off target.

Lee O’Connor tried his luck with 12 minutes remaining following a neat spell of possession from Hawkes and Chris Merrie, however Rovers’ number four saw a fierce attempt from distance go over the crossbar.

Orient threatened when Archibald brough the ball down and fed George Moncur, though his long-range attempt failed to test Hewelt.

Rovers ended the half on top. Morris’ run towards goal ended with the winger drilling straight into the gloves of Vigouroux after Hawkes pass set him free.

Morris then got the better of his marker and delivered an enticing cross which was not met by a white shirt in the penalty area.

The second-half started with Rovers taking the game to the O’s in front of the Kop.

Ethan Bristow linked up well with Hawkes, who took on Tom James to whip a low cross into the box which was cleared but only to Dacres-Cogley, who hit a half-volley which was deflected out for a corner.

Tom Davies was called to the rescue with 57 minutes played, throwing himself in the way of Beckles’ close-range chance after a goal-mouth scramble.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Rovers were on the attack again. Morris overcame challenges from Jordan Lyden and Rob Hunt to cross for Hemmings which the TRFC captain hit right-footed first time across goal just past the bottom left-post.

Mellon made his first substitution as Jake Burton was introduced into the action on 67 minutes, replacing Saunders.

Davies’ excellent cross-field ball found Daces-Cogley, though his pinpoint delivery was cleared by James.

Walker and Chalmers were Mellon’s double substitutes, with the pair coming on for Merrie and Hawkes in the 74th minute.

Harry Smith’s strike went close for Orient before Davies had to head to safety after Sadlier flicked on James’ long throw.

Rovers were in front on 82 minutes when Beckles turned into his own net beyond Vigouroux from Dacres-Cogley’s cross after excellent build-up play from Morris and Chalmers down the right.

Mellon’s men had to deal with significant pressure from Orient late on. Ruel Sotiriou’s strike was charged down by Hemmings prior to Smith’s unmarked header hitting the crossbar.

Hemmings was unlucky not to wrap up the contest in added time when he thumped the crossbar inside the box, with Rovers navigating the closing minutes professionally to earn the three points.

Next up for TRFC is a visit to Edgeley Park to play Stockport County in Sky Bet League Two next Saturday.

TRFC: Hewelt, Dacres-Cogley, Turnbull, Davies, Bristow, Morris, Merrie (Walker 74), O'Connor, Hawkes (Chalmers 74), Saunders (Burton 67), Hemmings ©

Subs not used: Murphy, Jameson, Lewis, Mumbongo

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