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Orient v Brentford: O’s gear up for biggest game of the season

David Mooney gives Orient the lead from the penalty spot against Brentford. Simon O'Connor David Mooney gives Orient the lead from the penalty spot against Brentford. Simon O'Connor

Friday, March 14, 2014
1:00 PM

Orient take on Brentford tomorrow lunchtime in the club’s biggest game of the season to date.

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Shaun Batt celebrates clinching the three points at Griffin Park. Simon O'ConnorShaun Batt celebrates clinching the three points at Griffin Park. Simon O'Connor

It’s a game which hardly needs any hyping. Second against third in League One, the London rivals are separated by a single point as the business end of the season approaches.

The Sky cameras will be present at Brisbane Road for the 12.15pm kick-off and the stadium is expecting its first sell-out since Arsenal came to town in the FA Cup three years ago.

Orient have won promotion only twice since 1970 and while manager Russell Slade tried to play down the size of the game he admitted it would be a “fantastic occasion for the football club.”

He said: “The football club, the players, the fans, everyone connected with Leyton Orient deserve a big day like that. It’s going to be a fantastic occasion.

“It’s vital but it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It happens to be Brentford. It would be vital if it was anyone else in the league.

“It’s going to be a tough game because they’re a very good side. Their record stands up.

“If we could take three points off them it would be fantastic, it would give us a little bit more momentum and put them under pressure.”

The O’s 2-0 win at Port Vale on Tuesday ensured they head into the game a point clear of their west London rivals, although the Bees do have two games in hand.

It extended their unbeaten run to six games and Orient’s form against Brentford is also strong. They are undefeated in four, winning the reverse fixture at Griffin Park 2-0 in September thanks to goals from David Mooney and Shaun Batt.

Russell Slade thinks the crowd can play their part in roaring Orient towards a vital three points.

“The last time we packed it was against Arsenal and that was fantastic,” the 53-year-old said.

“We’ve created records already this season but we can’t stop here. We have to keep going right to the end. There’s so much more to play for.”

Captain Nathan Clarke said it’s “one of the biggest games of my career” but the players need to see it as just the next challenge.

Romain Vincelot is a doubt for the game after injuring his foot against Port Vale while Slade rates fellow Frenchman Mathieu Baudry as 50/50 to return from a hamstring strain.

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