Orient had started brightly, but three free-kicks led to the downfall as first James Collins directed a header past Sam Sargeant, before Joe McNerney doubled the lead and Enzio Boldewijn sealed the victory for Dermot Drummy’s side.
The O’s made four changes to the side which lost 4-1 at home to Doncaster Rovers with Sam Sargeant, Callum Kennedy, Nicky Hunt and Steven Alzate returning to the starting XI. Alex Cisak missed the game after failing a fitness test on a groin injury, while Michael Collins was also absent with a calf injury.
The first chance of the game went the way of Webb’s side as Kelly managed to jink his way into the box before finding Koroma in a crowded area. The striker got an effort away but it struck the side netting.
Alzate helped Orient launch a swift counter attack with a wonderful ball from his own half to find Massey who was able to take a couple of touches before Crawley did well to shepherd the ball out for a throw in.
The visitors were forced into a first change with only 12 minutes on the clock when Tom Parkes was unable to continue, and Teddy Mezague was his replacement.
Orient continued to look the more likely to score and some lovely link up play between Alzate and Koroma found Kelly who saw Morris off his line and tried to fire the effort past the former O only to strike the top of the stand.
Morris was just able to beat Alzate who tried to race on to a throughball, before Blackman did just enough to pass back to Morris under pressure from Massey as Orient remained in the ascendancy.
But with their first opportunity of the game on 23 minutes the hosts went in front. A Josh Payne free-kick found the head of James Collins who managed to glance the ball into the back of the net despite Sargeant getting a touch on the ball.
And one soon became two and it was another set piece which proved to be the O’s undoing as this time Joe McNerney got his head to another Josh Payne free-kick and directed a solid effort past a helpless Sargeant.
It got even worse for the visitors when Enzio Boldewijn connected with another free-kick and confusion at the back allowed the Dutchman to net, despite Sargeant’s last-ditch attempts to keep it out.
No changes were made at the break by either side and the second half was slow to get going with Jimmy Smith forcing Sargeant into a regulation save with a low effort straight at the goalkeeper.
Chances were few and far between in the second period, with O’s doing little to test Morris in the Reds goal, before Rhys Murphy fired an effort just wide with Sargeant at full stretch, before Payne drifted a shot just off target.
Boldewijn then tried his luck from the edge of the O’s box with 78 minutes on the clock, only to see the strike fizz wide of the post, and then moments later the same player blazed wide from close range.
Crawley’s last substitute saw former O Dean Cox give a warm round of applause from all four corners of the ground, as he replaced Enzio Boldewijn.
Henry Ochieng made his league debut for the O’s, coming on late on for Nigel Atangana, while in time added on Alzate was bundled over in the box but no foul was given.
However, by now the game had petered out in the closing stages as the O’s lost out on the road as we must now prepare to face Wycombe Wanderers next weekend at the Matchroom Stadium.
CRAWLEY TOWN: Morris, Young, Yorwerth, McNerney, Boldewijn (Cox 79), Smith, Payne Blackman (Lelan 73), Djalo (Clifford 57), Collins, Murphy.
SUBSTITUTES: Mersin, Harrold, Bawling, Henderson.
GOALS: Collins (23), McNerney (29), Boldewijn (32).
LEYTON ORIENT: Sargeant, Judd, Hunt, Parkes (Mezague 12), Kennedy, Alzate, Atangana (Ochieng 81), Kelly, Semedo, Koroma (Liburd 62), Massey.
SUBSTITUTES: Grainger, Clark, Moncur, Abrahams.
BOOKED: Kelly (28)
REFEREE: Trevor Kettle
ATTENDANCE: 2,918 (792 Orient fans)