Just about three years ago to the day, fans of Leyton Orient joined us in our hour of need to march through the streets of Swansea to protest at the way the club was being killed by Tony Petty. Tomorrow they return to the Vech and us, as fans, have never forgotten their actions in our hour of need.
Much has changed in the three years since those fans protested through the streets along with hundreds of Swans fans, not least the size of the crowd that will watch the game. Just over 3,500 were present on 20th October 2001, around 9,000 are expected at the Vetch to watch tomorrow’s game that pits top against second – the first real six pointer of the season it could be suggested.
Orient’s rise to the top was courtesy of a six match unbeaten run for the Swans ending in some fashion on Saturday with a 4-2 defeat at Southend. Kenny Jackett will be looking to his team to get things right again tomorrow as he looks for another six game run – six consecutive Vetch victories since the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham back in August. Cheltenham’s goal that day was the last time that an opposing team has scored at the Vetch – another run that we have to look to keep going tomorrow.
There is expected to be a defensive shuffle for the Swans following the weekend defeat with Andy Gurney likely to come back into the gold at right back moving Sam Ricketts back to the left where he has been so impressive this season. This will mean one of Garry Monk or Alan Tate missing out from the defence on Saturday and there is also a chance that Izzy Iriekpen could also return to the side although a place on the bench looks more likely.
In midfield, there is growing clamour for a recall for Leon Britton in place of Andy Robinson on the left hand side and also the possibility that Adrian Forbes could come back in in place of Brad Maylett. Up front, the pairing of Lee Trundle and Paul Connor will again lead the Swans attack.
Orient arrive here on the back of one defeat in 6 league games and are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that destroyed Shrewsbury on the weekend. John Mackie seems unlikely to play any part of this game on his return from injury.
With the game itself being the first of the linked package that the Swans promoted ahead of the last game at the Vetch in April, there are just 1400 places available at the moment for pay on the night home fans although this figure may reduce slightly as the last 583 linked tickets remain on sale until tomorrow afternoon from the club shop. In addition the Family West Terrace is also open for Swans fans although tickets must be purchased in advance for this game – there is no pay on the gate in this section of the ground.
It promises to be a good encounter at the Vetch tomorrow night and hopefully come the end of the 90 minutes, the Swans will be back at the top of the league.