Cup cash can bring some cheer for O’s

WITH clubs feeling the icy grip of recession, Orient are eyeing up a potentially money-spinning run in the FA Cup, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Following Saturday s draw at Tranmere Rovers, the O s face a first round replay against the struggling League One outf

WITH clubs feeling the icy grip of recession, Orient are eyeing up a potentially money-spinning run in the FA Cup, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Following Saturday's draw at Tranmere Rovers, the O's face a first round replay against the struggling League One outfit next Tuesday night.

And, if Geraint Williams' side were to progress, they face a home tie with League Two side Aldershot Town in the second round.

There's no doubt that they are both winnable games and Orient's chief executive Matt Porter knows just what a boost it would be if the club can make it into the third round.


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"The next few weeks are crucial for us," he explained. "The FA Cup is a massive potential revenue stream for clubs like us.

"If you can get through to the third round there is not only the prize money, but a share of the gate receipts, especially if you were lucky enough to draw a big club like Arsenal or Manchester United away."

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Orient should start as favourites to beat Rovers next Tuesday, after they gained a 1-1 draw with a weakened team at the weekend.

Tranmere have been poor on their travels this season and have lost six of their seven away games in the league.

A first round success is worth �18,000 to the winners in prize money and if the O's were to overcome Aldershot they would bank a further �27,000.

Victory in the third round brings with it �67,500 in prize money, but it would be gate receipts that could provide the biggest windfall.

"We only ever budget to make a very small profit in the cup competions, so a good cup run can make a really big difference to our finances," admitted Porter.

O's were boosted by the surprise return of midfielder Sean Thornton at Tranmere on Saturday. He had been ruled out since suffering a cartilage injury during the closing stages of Orient's league clash with Charlton Athletic back in August.

"It was good to be back and get through the 90 minutes," he said.

"I was pleased with that, because I hadn't played a full 90 minutes for about three months."

Thornton had a hand in both goals at Prenton Park, as his corner set up Luke Ashworth to head home after just seven minutes, before Chris Shuker's second-half equaliser took a wicked deflection off the O's midfielder.

Although Orient were not at their best, Thornton admitted afterwards: "We're still in the competition and that's the most important thing.

"We'll play them back at our place now and I think we should win that one. We had a couple of injuries and illnesses to deal with, so we'll have a stronger squad when we play them again."

The former Sunderland man was disappointed Orient did not build on their early advantage. "Perhaps the goal came a bit too early, because we sat back off them after that," said Thornton.

"It took a lucky goal with two deflections for them to equalise, but we know we can play better. At least we haven't lost the match and can put it right in the replay.

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