Ben looks forward to a Rovers return!
DEFENDER Ben Chorley makes a sentimental return to Tranmere Rovers at the weekend as Orient launch their FA Cup campaign, writes TREVOR DAVIES. The 27-year-old, who started his career at Arsenal, left Prenton Park in the summer to join the O s and is deli
DEFENDER Ben Chorley makes a sentimental return to Tranmere Rovers at the weekend as Orient launch their FA Cup campaign, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
The 27-year-old, who started his career at Arsenal, left Prenton Park in the summer to join the O's and is delighted to be making the journey back to Birkenhead on Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to going back there," said Chorley this week.
"I had a good rapport with the fans and the people there, but I want nothing but an Orient victory though," warned the defender, who has caught the eye since his move to Brisbane Road.
Tranmere, who were close to making the play-offs last season, have had a dismal start to the season, after they sacked Ronnie Moore in June and appointed John Barnes.
The former England star failed to make an impression and was also sacked last month, as club physio Les Parry was placed in temporary charge of team affairs.
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"I'm really looking forward to going back, especially if Les (Parry) is still in charge," smiled Chorley.
"I got on especially well with Les and he helped me a lot. Tranmere lost on Saturday, so I'm sure they will be really up for it," added the defender, who made 75 league appearances for the Prenton Park outfit during a two-season spell with the club.
With successive cup matches against Tranmere and Hereford United, Chorley admits he is looking forward to taking a break from league action.
"The trip to Tranmere is one to look forward to and it's nice to get away from the league a little bit," he said.
"But there is still pressure on us, because we want to win the cup game and have a run in the competition."
Orient will meet Tranmere twice in two weeks, as Rovers visit Brisbane Road on Saturday, November 21,for a League One clash.
And, if Saturday's tie at Prenton Park ends all square, the two sides could end up playing each other three times in two weeks.
"Without a doubt that could happen. But I don't think Tranmere will want to travel all the way down here twice in four days," smiled Chorley.
Saturday's long haul to Birkenhead is not one most of the Orient players or supporters would have picked given the choice and Chorley admitted: "I think I was the only one pleased when we came out of the hat together. I knew we were playing them later in the month, so it's strange how things work out.
"I think Jamie Jones might have been pleased with the draw as well, because he can get back home."
Chorley was in commanding form at the heart of the O's defence on Saturday and paid tribute to defensive partner Luke Ashworth, who replaced Tamika Mkandawire after just four minutes when he suffered a cut eye.
Orient came under heavy pressure from an in-form Southampton side, who finally rescued a point with two late goals.
"Ash came on and did very well," said Chorley. "It was a hard game to come in to, as they have got some good attacking players and they forced the game."
Southampton were looking for their sixth straight win, but Chorley insisted the O's were disappointed not to end their run. "We were at home and we always want to win, no matter who we play here," said the Sidcup-born defender.
"They are on a good run, they are organised and they set up semi-defensive away from home. So we're relatively happy, but to be 2-0 up and end up drawing, we're a bit disappointed too.
"We will give anyone a game here, we did it with Charlton and we beat Millwall. We were a little disappointed at the end of the game, because we came so close to winning it.
"The equaliser was a great finish to be fair. Southampton are a good side, but we competed well and it shows we can give anyone a good game in this league."
Chorley had a couple of chances to extend Orient's lead. "I was disappointed to be honest, especially with the volley from six yards out. I tried to keep it down, but it's hit the ground and gone over. I need to open up my goal account.