IT WAS a nightmare New Year’s Day for the O’s as Yeovil Town punished them for a lacklustre display with a 3-0 victory at Huish Park.
Russell Slade’s men were second best throughout on the O’s manager’s return to his former club with Yeovil’s strikers taking full advantage.
Paddy Madden was on target twice, with his goals sandwiching strike partner James Hayter’s second half effort.
Yeovil gained revenge for their 4-1 defeat at Brisbane Road from earlier this season and the O’s will have to improve for next week’s rematch with the Glovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The O’s looked to be making a bright start as they held possession well inside the first five minutes and sent a couple of dangerous crosses into the box from Moses Odubajo and Dean Cox.
But that proved to be a false dawn as Yeovil soon began to take a grip on the contest.
With 12 minutes on the clock Orient could count themselves extremely fortunate to not fall behind when Gavin Williams found space to cross from the right and Madden sent a header crashing against the underside of the bar for Jamie Jones to save on the line.
The same player had another opportunity on 25 when he dropped off well inside the box to find space for Williams to cut back into, but his shot was fired over the crossbar.
At the other end Cox curled wide of the far post after a corner was only cleared back to him on the left wing, but Yeovil continued to create the better chances.
13 minutes before the break Madden sped away from Mathieu Baudry in the left channel and only had to pass square to Hayter for a simple finish, but Ben Chorley got back to intervene.
Two minutes later Baudry was penalised for a foul on Hayter 25 yards from goal and Williams’ inswinging free kick was headed wide of the left hand post by Ed Upson.
The goal was coming and it duly arrived with 41 minutes played when Hayter found himself in behind Baudry to latch on to a simple lofted ball forward and square for Madden to slide precisely beyond Jamie Jones.
Madden’s pace was causing problems and he raced clear yet again right on half time after goalkeeper Marek Stech launched a monster kick forward, but Jones managed to save with his legs as Yeovil’s lead remained at one at the interval.
The O’s made a tactical switch at the interval as Lloyd James and Odubajo swapped positions for the latter to take on a more attacking role.
But the move had little impact early on as Yeovil doubled their advantage on the hour.
Williams was again the architect, tricking his way to the byline down the right before laying on the perfect low cross for Hayter to touch home by the near post.
Orient briefly threatened when James, back in central midfield after that brief stint at right back, turned and shot inside the area. Stech was beaten, but not the defender on the line as the scoreline remained at 2-0.
The home side made full use of that block on 74 minutes when they made the game safe, taking advantage of a woefully underhit backpass from Chorley for Madden to race in and slip the ball under Jones for his second of the afternoon.
Baudry headed a Cox corner wide 13 minutes from time, but there wasn’t even to be a consolation goal for the O’s on an afternoon to forget.
Yeovil: Stech; Ayling, Hinds, Webster, Burn; Williams (Foley 77), Blizzard, Upson, McAllister (Reid 79); Hayter (Ugwu 83), Madden
Subs: Stewart (GK), Brundle
Goals: Madden 41, Hayter 60, Madden 74
Leyton Orient: Jones; Odubajo, Baudry, Chorley, McSweeney; James, Rowlands (Cuthbert 64), Griffith, Cox; Brunt (Obafemi 70), Mooney (Symes 80)
Subs: J Smith, Allsop (GK), Cook, A Smith
Referee: Simon Hooper
Attendance: 3,516 (151 away)