Ayo Obileye had looked to have given the visitors all three points with his penalty in first half stoppage time, but despite David Mooney also missing a spot kick in the opening 45 minutes Clay was on hand to equalise in the dying seconds.
spot kick proved to be the difference on a frustrating afternoon for Orient as Club Captain David Mooney saw a penalty of his own fall wide of the post midway through the first half.
The only change to the starting line-up from last weekend’s win at Woking saw Craig Clay replace First Team Captain Charlie Lee who suffered a knee injury in training.
In Lee’s absence, Midfielder Henry Ochieng was named in the squad for the first time this season.
It was a bright start from Orient who enjoyed a fair percentage of possession in the opening ten minutes.
The first clear chance of the game fell to Alex Lawless who charged up-field but could only drag his shot just wide of the post.
Another chance for Orient saw David Mooney’s close range shot from wide blocked at the near post by Eastleigh stopper Graham Stack.
As play reached the half hour mark, Eastleigh began to grow in to the game but were unable to make the break through with the O’s defending solidly.
With 15 minutes left of the half, James Dayton was sent tumbling when he darted in to the box and was taken out by Sam Wood, who received a booking for the challenge.
David Mooney had the chance to put the O’s a goal to the good from the spot, but despite sending Stack the wrong way his strike was also wide of the post.
Eastleigh then went close when Mark Yates’ free-kick was headed back across goal but poked wide by Ayo Obileye.
Moments before half time, Lawless whipped an early ball in for Mooney but the strikers glanced header flies just wide of the goal.
With two minutes of stoppage time shown referee Neil Hair awarded Eastleigh a penalty for an adjudged foul by Lawless on Yates, and Ayo Obileye converted the spot kick to send the visitors in 1-0 at half-time.
Both teams returned for the second half unchanged, and the first chance came fell to Eastleigh when Danny Hollands fired wide of the post from the edge of the box.
Eastleigh came close again when Obileye’s towering header was brilliantly met by the leg of Charlie Grainger from close range.
Orient had a chance after a Caprice’s run in to the middle allowed him to find Mooney in space, who’s first time effort was held well by Stack.
Caprice’s darting run in to box was spotted by Clay whose inch perfect ball found the full-back and he won a corner for the home side after getting a touch to the ball before Stack.
A short break in play allowed Stack to receive treatment after colliding with Caprice.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, Head Coach Steve Davis made his first two changes of the afternoon by brining on Romuald Boco and Josh Koroma for Jobi McAnuff and Mooney.
Despite the changes, the O’s were unable to create many clear chances, with Dayton coming closest with a free-kick that curled over the bar.
Six minutes stoppage time was shown by the fourth official, and with seconds remaining Josh Coulson poked home from close range but the goal was ruled out due to the ball dropping out of play in the build up.
It looked as though the O’s would suffer a first home defeat of the season, but with the game in the 97th minute Craig Clay was on hand to mark his first start with a dramatic equaliser to spark wonderful scenes in E10.
The O’s are next in action on Bank Holiday Monday when we head to Maidenhead United.
ORIENT: Grainger, Caprice, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson, Lawless, Clay, Dayton, McAnuff (Boco 69) Mooney (Koroma 69), Bonne
SUBS: Sargeant, Sendles-White, Ochieng
GOALS: Clay (90+7)
EASTLEIGH: Stack, Obileye, Boyce, Howe, Wood (Green 61), Togwell (C), Hollands, Constable, Zebroski (McAllister 71), Yeates, Williamson (Matthews 76)
SUBS: Flitney, Miley
GOALS: Obileye (45+2 pen)
BOOKED: Wood (32), Hollands (36)
REFEREE: Neil Hair
ATTENDANCE: 4,373 (261)