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Team News: Leyton Orient vs Salford City

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 January 2019

Leyton Orient midfielder Alex Lawless holds off Beaconsfield Town forward Marvin Morgan (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Alex Lawless holds off Beaconsfield Town forward Marvin Morgan (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Experienced midfielder Alex Lawless could make his first National League start since August 7

Alex Lawless may be in line for his first National League start in almost five months when Leyton Orient face Salford City at 3pm this afternoon.

The experienced midfielder has found opportunities hard to come by this season, but, after a string of impressive cameo displays off the bench, he may get the nod today.

Orient are likely to check on the fitness of Craig Clay and if the O’s lynchpin fails to recover from a dead leg, Lawless is expected to replace Dale Gorman and partner Charlie Lee in the middle of the park.

Boss Justin Edinburgh praised the performance of the former Luton Town favourite in the 1-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge on New Year’s Day.

He said: “I thought Alex was outstanding and I said that to the players in the dressing room afterwards.

“It has not gone how Alex wanted it to, but he is an incredible professional and trainer and his performance shows how he handles himself away from the training ground. I was very pleased with him.”

Given the close nature of the game, Lawless’ display will still be fresh in the minds of the coaching team and could see him get the edge over Gorman.

He also started the previous encounter with the Ammies back on August 4 and his last appearance from the off in the league occurred during the 1-1 draw against Ebbsfleet United in E10 on August 7.

Lawless did recently start in the FA Trophy against Beaconsfield Town three weeks ago and played the whole 90 minutes, so is ready if needed today.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh will have a decision to make out wide with new signing Jordan Maguire-Drew an option on the right or left.

He is predominantly a right-winger and in the long-term could take James Brophy’s spot in the team, but the ex-Swindon Town ace should get the nod this afternoon so the January addition will have to be content with a spot on the bench.

Maguire-Drew’s presence among the substitutes will most likely result in one of Matt Harrold or James Alabi dropping out of the match day 16.

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