Ross Embleton made four changes from the weekend draw with Macclesfield. Ruel Sotiriou and Marvin Ekpiteta missed out with minor injuries and were replaced by Josh Coulson and Danny Johnson, while Josh Wright and Jordan Maguire-Drew dropped out in place of James Dayton and Lee Angol.
The O’s started the game brightly with a great bit of link-up play down the left hand side between Danny Johnson and Lee Angol which ultimately came to nothing, but was a sign of the intent Orient had in the game.
Nicky Maynard had the ball in the back of the net in the 3rd minute, after a neat executed finish from a cut back however a well manned offside trap from Orient meant the flag went up and the goal didn’t stand.
Just moments later there were shouts for a penalty from the Orient players and fans for what appeared to be a handball in the box, but referee Josh Smith waved appeals away.
Orient continued with their attacking impetus and a great switch of play from James Brophy picked out George Marsh on the right-hand side who played in Cissé, his 25-yard strike earned Orient their first corner of the game, which ultimately came to nothing and was headed out by the Mansfield back line.
A determined bit of running from Angol sprung Orient into a counterattack in which they were able to switch play across the box and allow Marsh a cross which went straight into the hands of Bobby Olejnik in the Mansfield goal.
Angol was once again in the thick of the action, earning the O’s a free kick after drawing a foul from Pearce 25 yards from goal which produced a solid save from Olejnik.
The ball was then put back in the box and ended up at the feet of Dan Happe who was unlucky to see his quick reaction finish hit the post and the resulting scramble saw the ball go out for a goal kick.
A quick passing move between Johnson and Clay saw Angol played in on goal who shot from a difficult angle only to see the ball to fly over the bar.
Orient’s pressure almost paid off after a looping cross from Marsh caused the Mansfield defence issues, however Johnson was deemed to have fouled Olejnik when going up for a header.
Benning swung in a dangerous cross for Mansfield as they attempted to get a foothold in the game only to see his delivery met by Ryan Sweeney whose header went over the bar.
Angol earned another free kick out on the left-hand side, which Brophy fired into the box and was met by the head of Johnson whose effort went into the hands of the keeper.
Vigouroux was finally called into action in the 36th minute and was forced to make a brilliant low down save to his left from Maynard after a quick counter attacking move from Mansfield saw the O’s left short at the back
Right on the stroke of half time Orient managed to break the deadlock deservedly, after some brilliant play from Angol, who had been Orients focal point throughout the entire first half, he managed to play the ball out to Dayton on the right hand side who shimmied past his defender with ease and squeezed the ball under the Mansfield keeper much to the delight of the O’s fans behind the goal.
A quick and creative start to the second half saw Wilkinson and Marsh create a crossing opportunity down the right wing which produced a difficult ball for Mansfield to defend resulting in a corner for Orient.
Wilkinson’s brilliant start to the half continued with a lovely run which resulted in him earning a free kick by the corner flag, the set-piece was taken short and ended up as a great chance for Cissé to double the lead though his shot unfortunately rolled wide of the post.
Mansfield’s first chance of the half came after a well worked free kick ended up with Maynard who headed straight into the arms of Vigouroux.
Another amazing slalom run from Wilkinson saw him manage to get into the box and eventually get taken down in what looked like a possible foul and penalty however the ref once again waved away Orients appeals.
The visitors then went up the other end and instantly earned a corner which was swung inwards by Mal Benning and met by the head of Kelland Watts who levelled the game up.
The man of the hour Wilkinson was involved with everything going forward and was once again brought down as Mansfield struggled to deal with him resulting in another dangerous Orient free kick, which flew just over the bar.
Mansfield continued to take control of the game but struggled to produce any clear-cut chances the best one again ending up in the hands of Vigouroux after a cross goal shot from Manning.
Sustained pressure from both wings once again paid off for Orient after a teasing cross from Maguire Drew forced Benning to put the ball into his own net to prevent a clear tap in for Angol at the back post, putting Orient back into a well-deserved lead.
A slight mix up at the back allowed Mansfield a chance from outside the box which was curled high and wide by right back James Clarke
Crossing was once again proving effective for Orient as James Brophy fizzed in a mean cross which came out to Josh Wright, his first time shot blocked by Mansfield’s defence.
A powerful run through the middle of the pitch from Maguire-Drew earned Orient another dangerous free kick 20 yards from goal, Maguire-Drew then stepped up to strike the ball only for the effort to go over the bar.
A long free kick from Mansfield’s own half caused Orient a small scare as it landed at the feet of CJ Hamilton. His shot was deemed to have taken a deflection and earned Mansfield a corner, which they were not able to convert. Much to the delight of the Orient defence who managed to see out the rest of the match.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Marsh, Coulson, Happe, Brophy, Cissé, Clay, Dayton (Wright 65), Wilkinson, Angol, Johnson (Maguire Drew 69)
SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Judd, Kyprianou, Sweeney
BOOKED: Marsh 67”
GOALS: Dayton 44”, Benning (OG)73”
MANSFIELD: Olejnik, Watts, Pearce, Sweeney, Riley (Clarke 45), Bishop, Tomlinson, Benning (Charsley 87), Hamilton, Rose, Maynard
SUBS: Stone, Preston, Davies, Evans, Knowles
GOALS: Watts 59”
REF: Josh Smith
ATT: 3587 (181 Away)