Both sides took a knee prior to kick-off, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Orient enjoyed the opening five minutes of the game and twice threatened to open the scoring.
Dan Happe’s free-kick was flicked on by Josh Coulson but Oldham stood resolute, before Lee Angol fired over the bar following a sharp counter.
Craig Clay was next to cause the opposition problems – twisting and turning on the edge of the area; the midfielder made a yard of space for himself and shot narrowly wide of the far post.
The Latics composed themselves after a shaky opening and knocked the ball about with more confidence, as the balance of play evened up.
Ross Embleton’s side came desperately close to taking the lead after twenty minutes. A short corner caused all kinds of problems for the home side, who failed to pick up Clay and the midfielder’s dink to the back post was taken off Coulson’s head at the last second by his marker.
James Brophy was the first man to be cautioned by Referee Declan Bourne; Orient’s left back tugged down Bobby Grant on the halfway line after the winger had got goal side of him.
Dylan Fage’s trickery crafted an opening for Oldham but his low ball into the area cannoned off multiple bodies before Vigouroux smothered.
The closing stages of the half were quite sloppy as neither goalkeeper was forced into a meaningful save. All square at the break.
Harry Kewell was the first manager to look to the bench immediately after the restart, replacing Dylan Fage with Danny Rowe. The forward immediately looked to make an impact, taking aim from 25-yards, but it was comfortable for Vigouroux.
Down the other end, Lawlor denied Angol, getting down low to block the stinging effort after the former had shaped an angle to shoot.
Captain Jobi McAnuff was the first Orient player to be introduced from the bench, replacing James Dayton moments before the hour mark.
Vigouroux made an important block with his feet to stop McAleny, who had ventured in behind the O’s back line.
Another two changes around the hour mark: both Ruel Sotiriou and Jamie Turley came on as Conor Wilkinson and Dan Happe came off.
The pitch began to open up in the latter stages as fatigue kick in; though both sides continued to fight for a winning goal. Substitute Sotiriou did well to dribble into space but with the angle against him, the Cypriot failed to truly test Lawlor.
Orient got one more chance right at the death and Danny Johnson took full advantage.
Jamie Turley’s flicked header looped over a wall of blue shirts’ into the path of Johnson, who kept his composure, to fire through the onrushing keeper’s legs and steal all three points! A win on the opening day of the league season, for Orient.
OLDHAM: Lawlor, Borthwick-Jackson, Jombati, Piergianni, Garrity, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Grant (Dearnley 72’), Fage (Rowe 46’), McAleny, Hamer
SUBS: Woods, Barnett, Badan, Da Silva, Hough
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Ling, Coulson, Happe (Turley 65’), Brophy, Cisse, Clay, Dayton (McAnuff 58’), Wilkinson (Sotiriou 63’), Johnson, Angol
SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Maguire-Drew, Wright
GOALS: Johnson 89’
BOOKED: Brophy 26’ Happe 53’
REF: Declan Bourne