Goals from Tom Mulqueen and Jaedon Phillips in the first half, were enough for the U18s to travel back home with the three points.
The U’s pulled a goal back in the second half after 67 minutes, but couldn’t find another as the youth team stood firm to hang onto their deserved victory.
Orient had multiple chances, before and after the goals, to bolster their lead in the first half. Phillips warned Cambridge of his presence, hitting the side-netting and forcing the keeper into a low stop all inside the opening ten minutes.
Kyrell Palmer started in goal, as injuries left Orient short in that position. The young centre-back by trade, made a solid double save in the opening stages of the game. Palmer kept out a strike from distance, but the ball fell kindly to a home player. Palmer shot up to his feet, to get a strong right hand to the ball, and force it behind for a corner.
Tom Mulqueen fired Orient into the lead after 18 minutes, with a composed finish in a crowded penalty area. Jaedon Phillips recovered an over hit corner-kick before whipping it back into the danger area. Mulqueen beat everyone to it and fired a low half-volley past the diving Cambridge ‘keeper.
Before Orient’s second, Jayden Sweeney almost pulled off a wonder strike. The left-back caught the Keeper off his line, and went for the spectacular, only to see his attempt crash off the post and into the gloves of the Keeper.
The hosts failed to mount a response, and Orient soon punished them, adding a second goal only six minutes later. Phillips capitalised after The U’s number 1 spilled a Jayden Sweeney cross. Phillips, with his back to goal, held off yellow jerseys in his way, before turning and smashing the ball into an unguarded net.
Ernold Haxhiu hit the side-netting as the O’s continued to press forward in the opening 45 minutes. The second-half saw a more considered performance the O’s. With a lead to protect, the side in red looked to stand resolute and break on the counter.
The hosts pulled a goal back from a corner kick. A delivery towards the near post, was headed across goal and looped into the net. United had struggled to hit the target, but with 20 minutes remaining, set up a tense finale.
The U’s dominated possession, but didn’t threaten to equalise. Stoppages for injury in the second half, saw the game run deep into injury time.
Cambridge left themselves short at the back while they pushed for a leveller. Lawrence Hammond broke from midfield and played the ball through to Mulqueen. The goal-scorer dragged an effort across the face of goal, narrowly in front of substitute Jordon Adeyemi.
The referee finally blew his whistle and called time on what was an important victory for Orient.
Leyton Orient will now host league leaders Northampton Town on the 10th of November. Kick-off is scheduled for 10:30am, at the Whitbread Sports Ground.
ORIENT: Kyrell Palmer, Anthony Papadopoulous, Hector Kyprianiou, Luca Carter-Henry (Bradley McClenaghan 55), Jayden Sweeney, Ernold Haxhiu, Brendon Shabani, Thomas Mulqueen, Amin Benyoucef, Lawrence Hammond, Jaedon Phillips (Jordon Adeyemi 86)
Subs: Harrison Clayden, Diego Bonnie, Frankie Terry
GOALS: Mulqueen, Phillips
BOOKED: Kyprianiou, Carter-Henry, Haxhiu