Josh Wright put us in the lead in spectacular fashion mid-way through the first 45, but the visitors soon hit back against the run of play through Nathan Palmer.
Lee Angol restored our lead from the spot in the opening stages of the second-half, but again it was cancelled out by Crawley Town’s Ollie Palmer.
The former O’s man then notched what proved to be the winner 18 minutes from time.
Ross Embleton named a changed starting XI for this afternoon’s clash. Louis Dennis came in for his first start in an O’s shirt and Jordan Maguire-Drew was in from the beginning for the first time since the opening day of the season.
James Alabi regained a place on the bench, alongside Dan Happe who dropped out of the starting side this weekend.
Craig Clay got the game going at a sun drenched Breyer Group Stadium and it was the O’s with the first chance. Louis Dennis capitalised on a poor touch from the Crawley defender and slipped in Jordan Maguire-Drew, but the forward was denied by a great save from former Orient ‘keeper Glenn Morris who turned the ball behind for a corner.
The O’s threatened again from the resulting corner, Lee Angol fooled his marker and made a darting run towards the front post to try a headed attempt on goal but the ball whistled beyond the target.
Dennis was having a wonderful time on the right wing, excellent trickery beat his marker before he drilled a low cross in to the box. Unfortunately it was blocked but luckily it bounced back to our number 17, he then flashed a shot wide from an acute angle.
It was all one-way traffic in the opening 15 minutes, Dean Brill’s inch perfect goal-kick found the run of Sam Ling who whipped a low cross in to the box, it found Lee Angol but his first time shot was well off target.
Orient’s attacking intent paid off after 22-minutes, Josh Wright picked up a loose ball in midfield and took his time before picking his spot in the top corner with a wonder-strike. His second goal of the season gave the O’s the lead on the afternoon.
However, completely against the run of play Crawley Town levelled the scores, a game of pinball in the box allowed Nathan Ferguson to poke home from close range. The goal for the visitors came on the half-hour mark despite a dominant display from the O’s prior to the set-back.
Bang on 45 minutes, James Brophy got the better of his man on the left and sent a looping cross in to the box, Conor Wilkinson was first to get there but couldn’t keep the header on target from close range.
No more than 10 minutes after the break our lead was restored when Lee Angol tucked away his second of the season, this time from the penalty spot. James Brophy was tripped by Panutche Camara inside the area and Brett Huxtable awarded the penalty-kick.
Even after re-taking the lead, the O’s showed no sign of letting up. Firstly, Conor Wilkinson flashed a low shot across goal after he worked well to make the box. Then Jordan Maguire-Drew cut on to his favoured left foot and fired at goal but it was agonisingly wide of the net.
In similar fashion to their first, Crawley found a way back in to the game. Former Orient forward Ollie Palmer reacted first to a loose ball in the box and fired across goal for the leveller.
In the 71st minute just three minutes after his first, Palmer notched his second of the afternoon when he tapped home from Reece Grego-Cox’s low cross.
Despite our best attempts, the O’s struggled to find a way through a then resolute Crawley Town defence. Louis Dennis came the closest, but his stinging effort from 20-yards was tipped over by Morris as the game ended in defeat.
ORIENT: Brill, Ling (Judd 34), Ekpiteta, Coulson, Clay (Gorman 78), Wilkinson, Maguire-Drew (Alabi 73), Brophy, Dennis, Angol, Wright
SUBS: Sargeant, Happe, Harrold, Marsh
BOOKED: Maguire-Drew (24), Gorman (84), Wright (90+4)
GOALS: Wright (22), Angol (53)
CRAWLEY: Morris, Doherty, Dallison, Grego-Cox, Nadesan (Palmer 58), Ferguson (Morias 62), Tunnicliffe, Bulman (C), Cogley (Sesay 14), Camara, Lubala
SUBS: Luyambu, Francomb, Nathaniel George, Galach
BOOKED: Camara (45), Sesay (52), Lubala (81)
GOALS: Ferguson (30), Palmer (69 & 72)
REFEREE: Brett Huxtable
ATTENDANCE: 4,905 (424)