ORIENT face their toughest test so far this season on Saturday when they play host to second-placed Bristol Rovers, writes Leo Tyrie.

Ian Atkins' Rovers side have got off to the club's best ever start and are unbeaten going into the Brisbane Road clash, but they have been struggling for goals recently, fighting out goalless draws in their last two games with Rushden and Shrewsbury.

With Andy Scott looking likely to recover from a back injury sustained in last week's 2-1 victory at Kidderminster, O's boss Martin Ling will have a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from, with John Mackie (knee) the only absentee.

The arrival of the Pirates in E10 is sure to have three members of the O's squad particularly keen to impress.

Lee Steele, who was barely given a starting chance in two years under Atkins at Oxford United, will be desperate to show his former boss what he can do, while Wayne Carlisle was released by Saturday's opponents in the summer after sitting out the latter part of the 2003-04 campaign with a knee injury.

Matthew Lockwood is also another former Bristol Rovers player.

Ling said: "I think the game has got plenty of spice, but the main thing is that it is second against seventh in the table.

"Obviously though Lee Thorpe coming back here will add something to the fixture, as will Wayne Carlisle and Matt Lockwood having played for them in the past.

"I'm not sure what reception Lee will get from our fans, because while he never really fell out with them he didn't exactly hit it off here.

"I'm also sure Lee Steele and Andy Scott will want to make an impression because they will be up against a manager in Ian Atkins who didn't pick them a lot when they were with him at Oxford last season."

Carlisle, meanwhile, is looking forward to the test. He said: "We have been going really well this season and I haven't seen anyone in the league that is better than us on our day.

"But Saturday will give us the chance to judge where we really are because they are up there in the table and are probably one of the favourites to go up."