Orient got their pre-season underway with an entertaining 3-2 win at Conference side Dartford.
Lloyd James caught the eye in the first period with two exceptionally well taken goals before scholar Scott Kashket grabbed a third from the penalty spot in confident fashion in the second half.
There was a blend of youth and experience for the O’s on a beautiful evening – that would turn stormy – at Prince’s Park as Kevin Lisbie wore the armband with Scott Cuthbert and Nathan Clarke, the only players to sit out.
Orient started well and but for the odd misplaced pass – as to be expected with a bit of summer rustiness – dominated the opening stages.
The first chance came on the 10 minute mark when Dean Cox almost caught Darts’ ‘keeper Jason Brown napping when he whipped in a free-kick from the left that the former Orient loanee had to tip over the bar.
Less than a minute later though the O’s had their lead and it came in style when Lloyd James made a run behind the back four and deftly controlled a long ball over his shoulder before prodding a finish past Brown.
The goal settled Orient as they began to run the show with Dean Cox popping up in all sorts of areas across the midfield.
Twelve minutes later Slade’s side double their lead as James grabbed his second in style when he picked up the ball on the halfway line and carried it forward unchallenged before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 25 yards.
The home side showed more signs of promise as the half wore on and grabbed a goal back on 31 minutes when Lee Noble curled in a free-kick from the left that seemed to take a knock off an Orient head which took it out of the waiting hands of Adam Legzdins and into the top corner.
It was a different eleven in the second with the two trialists introduced and Legzdins being the only remaining player from the first half.
Orient started well and David Mooney wearing the armband linked well with Chris Dagnall to lay a chance on for youngster Scott Kashket, and when he was upended in the box, the O’s skipper gave him the ball and the scholar kept his cool to slot the penalty home.
Kashket seemed to grow in confidence with his goal and twice went close soon after as he linked well with Elliot Omozusi behind him.
Gary Woods replaced Legzdins with 30 minutes to go and made a good save 10 minutes later to gather a Noble shot that bounced in front of him.
Harry Lee bent a wonderful free-kick against the bar with 15 minutes to go as the storm clouds started to gather in Kent but a minute later the Darts cut the deficit to one as Tom Derry bent a shot that took a wicked deflection past Woods who had no chance.
As the storm gathered pace, the referee called time early on a good first workout for the O’s who now travel to Northumberland for a training camp and match at Gateshead on Wednesday.
ORIENT (FIRST HALF): Adam Legzdins, Sam Ling (scholar), Mathieu Baudry, Jack Humphreys (scholar), Gary Sawyer ,Montel Agyemang (scholar), Marvin Bartley,Lloyd James, Dean Cox, Shaun Batt, Kevin Lisbie
(SECOND HALF): Legzdins (Gary Woods 60), Elliot Omozusi, Andys Nikalaou, George Elokobi (trialist), Scott Kashkett (scholar), Bradley Pritchard, Romain Vincelot, Harry Lee, Chris Dagnall, David Mooney, Valentin Gjokaj (trialist)
DARTFORD: Brown (Ibrahim 71), Collier, Green (Daly 45), McAuley (Anidugbe 64), Mitchel-King, Cornhill, Hayes (Adekunle 64), Noble (Vint 80), Bradbrook (Derry 64), Pugh (Burns 45), Harris (Dembele 80)
Orient: James (10, 23) Kashket pen 54
Dartford: Noble (31) Derry (76)