There is all to play for at Roots Hall on Wednesday night as Southend take on Leyton Orient in the second leg of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area final (Sky Sports 3, 7.15pm). Southend earned a hugely creditable 1-0 win in the first match at Brisbane Road and the bookies fancy they are in pole position to book their place in the Wembley final against the winner of the Northern Area finale between Coventry and Crewe.
Southend are 4/11 odds on to qualify from this tie and on to Wembley, although there could be plenty of twists and turns to come and Orient look tempting at a best price 2/1 with William Hill. Wednesday's match certainly looks like it will be a tight affair as the two teams are each priced 17/10 in the outright match betting, while the draw is available at 21/10.
Orient dominated much of the first match at Brisbane Road but they found Southend keeper Paul Smith in inspired form. Ryan Leonard then nicked a valuable goal for Southend to take his tally to two goals for the season and he is 16/1 to score first again this week. The Shrimpers will fancy that they are in the driving seat heading into this game, although their recent form suggests that this tie is far from over.
Southend have scored no more than one goal in each of their last eight outings, with Hills going 2/1 that Leyton Orient keep a clean sheet on Wednesday. Southend's lack of goalscoring threat hasn't helped them recently as they have lost their last two matches in a row with consecutive home defeats to Cheltenham and Northampton.
That home form will be a concern for the League Two side, who are currently ninth in their table, and they have injury problems going into this week's game. Leyton Orient, who are 10th in League One, will hope to turn the tie around as they bid to make their extra class and experience of playing at a higher level count.
The O's have only lost two of their last seven outings and they head into this week's game on the back of a 2-1 win against Tranmere and the weekend's 2-1 loss at Hartlepool. Martin Rowlands was on target in both of those games and the veteran midfielder is a juicy 12/1 to be first goalscorer with Hills.
Orient were made to pay for a lack of concentration at the weekend as they conceded two goals in the final two minutes to Hartlepool. Wednesday's match looks to have the potential for some late drama as Southend's last eight games have involved seven goals scored in the final 10 minutes, including two injury time goals in their last two. William Hill go 13/8 that a goal is scored between the 81st minute and full-time on Wednesday, while a goal to be scored in injury time can be backed at 9/2.
Southend v Leyton Orient Form
Check the season's statistics for both Southend and Leyton Orient, plus the odds ahead of Wednesday's match.
Southend v Leyton Orient Tips
Tip #1: Leyton Orient to qualify @ 2/1 with WilliamHill.
Tip #2: Match goal scored between 81st minute and full-time @ 13/8 with WilliamHill.
Tip #3: Martin Rowlands to score first each-way @ 12/1 with WilliamHill.
17/10 Leyton Orient
To Qualify Betting
2/1 Leyton Orient
Correct Score Odds
15/2 Southend 1-0
14/1 Southend 2-0
9/1 Southend 2-1
17/2 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
7/1 Leyton Orient 1-0
12/1 Leyton Orient 2-0
17/2 Leyton Orient 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
5/1 Kevin Lisbie
5/1 David Mooney
6/1 Britt Assombalonga
6/1 Shaun Batt
13/2 Barry Corr
13/2 No Goalscorer
7/1 Freddy Eastwood
7/1 Afolabi Obafemi
8/1 Neil Harris
10/1 Lee Cook
11/1 Jimmy Smith
12/1 Martin Rowlands
Odds supplied by WilliamHill.com, who offer live in-play betting for both Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Finals on Wednesday night.
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