Carl Fletcher named an unchanged starting XI to the team that claimed a point at home to Carlisle United. Conor Wilkinson made the bench in place of an injured Myles Judd, as the striker returned from a three-game suspension.
A minute’s silence was observed before George Marsh got the game underway at the Globe Arena, as the O’s donned their all white third kit for the first time this season.
Tom Brewitt went close with the first shot of the game, but his curling effort from the edge of the area was deflected a yard wide of Dean Brill’s post.
The opening ten minutes consisted of both sides trying to figure each other out, as neither team managed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
The O’s began to get a foothold in the game after the 15-minute mark, with the three in central-midfield passing the ball around with accuracy and assurance.
A long range from effort from Morecambe midfielder Andrew Tutte needed to be tipped over the bar by Brill. The fierce strike dipped and swerved in the air and the O’s ‘keeper did well to read the path of the ball and turn it behind.
Half-an-hour into the match neither side had recorded a clear-cut chance as both sides defended their box resolutely.
After losing possession in a dangerous area centre-back Dan Happe recovered to make an important block as Cole Stockton failed to take advantage of the opportunity. The forward progressed into the area and unleashed a right-footed shot which was blocked by the outstretched leg of Happe.
Stockton then turned provider, delivering a perfect low cross to the feet of Lewis Alessandra who should really have put the hosts in front, but from six-yards out he could only fire wide.
Referee Paul Marsden blew his half-time whistle with the score 0-0.
Orient came out of the blocks much improved and won a couple of corners in quick succession following the restart. Dayton and Wright’s in-swinging deliveries created problems for the home defence, who managed to clear their lines both times of asking.
Fletcher made a double change before the hour mark, introducing Dale Gorman and Conor Wilkinson in place of Marvin Ekpiteta and James Dayton, as O’s anchor-man George Marsh switched to right-back.
The loanee almost caught Mark Halstead by surprise a few moments later. After receiving the ball in the right channel from Craig Clay, a shot-come-cross darted just a whisker over the target.
Morecambe would take the lead after 74 minutes through a sensational strike from substitute A-Jay Leitch-Smith. Cutting in from the left flank, the number 10 curled an effort into the far top corner from 25-yards.
In the build-up to the goal, Wilkinson hit the ground with an injury which forced the forward off after just 16 minutes on the pitch. Jordan Maguire-Drew came on in his place, in what was Orient’s third and final change.
With ten minutes left to play the O’s hunted for an equaliser. Happe would be the first to go close, but ‘keeper Halstead blocked the defender’s close-range half-volley.
Soon after Matt Harrold flicked the ball to Josh Wright, who’s looping header looked destined to find the back of the net but with Halstead beaten, the ball drifted the wrong side of the post.
Right at the death an almighty block from Morecambe goalkeeper Mark Halstead ensured all three points for the home side. James Brophy did exceptionally well down the left wing, delivering a teasing ball into six-yard-box which was bundled towards the goal, but at full stretch Halstead pushed the ball behind off the line.
ORIENT: Brill, Ekpiteta (Gorman 59”), Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, Clay, Marsh, Wright, Dayton (Wilkinson 59” (Maguire-Drew 75”), Brophy, Harrold
SUBS: Sargeant, Dennis, Turley, Alabi
MORECAMBE: Halstead, Conlan, Old, Tutte (Cranston 63”), O’Sullivan, Alessandra, Stockton (Leitch-Smith 73”), Brewitt, Wildig (Kenyon 84”), Lavelle, Tanner
SUBS: Roche, Buxton, Brownsword, Miller
BOOKED: Tutte 59” Wildig 78” Alessandra 90”
GOALS: Leitch-Smith 74”
REF: Paul Marsden
ATT: 2,691 (353 Away fans)