Tranmere Rovers 2 - 0 Leyton Orient
npower League 1
ORIENT slipped to 17th in the npower League 1 table with a 2-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
The home side, who were celebrating 100 years at their Prenton Park home, hadn't won in 12 games prior to their meeting with the O's, but first half goals from Andy Robinson and Enoch Showumni ended that run.
The O's, sporting a patched up side in the absence of Dean Cox, Scott Cuthbert, Dean Leacock and Kevin Lisbie, went close before Tranmere's goals with a Matthew Spring free kick that struck the post, but once the hosts went in front, there was no way back.
Orient lacked bite in attack and back-to-back defeats means they will be looking over their shoulders again as the season enters the finishing straight.
Tranmere looked to apply the pressure in a frantic opening to the game and Robinson forced a save from Paul Rachubka in the fifth minute after the ball dropped to him in the box.
The same player then had penalty appeals turned down when Terrell Forbes nudged him inside the area, while at the other end David Mooney's far post header was blocked close to the line by veteran defender Ian Goodison.
The game then settled down and Orient went desperately close to breaking the deadlock on 25 minutes when Spring's 25 yard free kick beat home keeper Owain Fon Williams all ends up but clattered against the left hand upright.
That moment seemed to give Orient more of a foothold in the game and they approached the closing stages of the first period fairly comfortable at 0-0 - although that was all to change in the final 10 minutes before the break.
Tranmere's opening goal came via a David Buchanan corner from the left which Rachubka got a decent fist to. However, the visitors switched off for the second ball and Robinson was able to nip in front of Jamal Campbell-Ryce and lash home.
Orient's players appealed for handball from Robinson as he brought the ball under control, but referee Andy Madley didn't agree and the goal stood.
Worse was to follow right on the stroke of half time as Lucas Akins got past Leon McSweeney far too easily and laid off for Danny Holmes to cross.
His low ball travelled to the far post where Showumni muscled in front of Syam Ben Youssef to finish.
Orient were in need of more firepower in the final third if they were to find a way back into the game, but their hopes were dealt a blow by the injury-enforced withdrawal of Campbell-Ryce at the break, with George Porter coming on to replace him.
Mooney hooked a volley over the top on 49 after a Porter long throw bounced in the box, and Spring's 20 yard strike was gathered at the second attempt by Fon Williams.
Ben Chorley also forced a block from Fon Williams when he met Spring's 64th minute corner at the near post, but the O's still struggled to offer a coherent threat.
At the other end Rachubka had to make a regulation stop to deny Robinson a second after the O's gave possession away in midfield and the Tranmere wide man made his way towards goal.
Orient had one more chance to get back into the contest 15 minutes from time when Fon Williams clawed away Spring's shot at full stretch and then got quickly back up to stop Porter's follow up from a tight angle.
They didn't take it and Tranmere were able to comfortably see out the remaining time to drag themselves to within two points of the O's.
Tranmere: Fon Williams; Holmes, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan; Akins (Weir 89), Welsh, Wallace, Robinson (Labadie 81); Brunt, Showumni (Bakayogo 68)
Subs: Weir, Coughlin (GK), Stockton
Goals: Robinson 35, Showumni 45+1
Leyton Orient: Rachubka; Ben Youssef, Forbes, Chorley, McSweeney; Jimmy Smith (Laird 77); Mooney, Spring, Reed, Campbell-Ryce (Porter 46); Andrew
Subs: Cestor, Lovelock (GK), Jamie Smith
Referee: Andy Madley