Leyton Orient braced for tough National League test away to promotion-chasing AFC Fylde

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 February 2018

AFC Fylde forward Danny Rowe battles for the ball against Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

AFC Fylde forward Danny Rowe battles for the ball against Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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Saturday’s clash at Mill Farm will see two of the National League’s best forwards, Danny Rowe and Macauley Bonne, go head-to-head

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold wins the ball in the air against an AFC Fylde opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor). Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold wins the ball in the air against an AFC Fylde opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient travel to AFC Fylde this weekend to take on a team brimming with confidence after a magnificent start to 2018.

The Coasters, who only came up from the National League North last season, have adjusted excellently to life in the top flight of non-league football.

Since a 4-1 loss at Tranmere Rovers on Boxing Day, Fylde have won seven of their 10 fixtures in the National League.

It is this type of form which has seen Dave Challinor’s side move up to seventh – the last play-off spot – and ahead of Saturday’s game with Orient, he has called on his players to make sure they stay in the top-seven.

“Ultimately we have got 13 games to go and it will require a certain numbers of points to get ourselves in there,” the 42-year-old told the official club website, when asked about Fylde moving back into the play-off positions.

“There is still a lot of football to be played and we will have to take it game by game, so we will put a game plan in place now to try and win again on Saturday and that’s solely where our focus is.

“It is about winning games, we are not going to look too far ahead from where we are because every game is tough, but it is nice to be in there.

“We were in there previously and went out again the following week, so I suppose the motivation is to make sure we stay in there.”

The previous meeting between Fylde and Orient back on September 30 saw the away side claim all three points.

Danny Rowe netted a brace and despite Jobi McAnuff pulling one back for the O’s in the second half, the hosts lost 2-1.

Steve Davis was the manager at Brisbane Road then and he has since been replaced by Justin Edinburgh, who has made Orient hard to beat.

Edinburgh took over with the east Londoners worryingly close to the bottom four, but they now have a six-point cushion and look more solid.

What has been consistent throughout the season, however, is the form of Macauley Bonne, who has 15 goals in the league and 18 in all competitions.

This weekend will see O’s leading marksman go head-to-head with the division’s top goalscorer – Rowe.

Fylde’s very own talisman has netted 18 times in the National League and the forward that gets the upper hand on Saturday may well decide who wins the game.

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