Ross Embleton made just the one change from the mid-week draw with Exeter. Full back Joe Widdowson the man to replace Jordan Maguire-Drew in the starting eleven in a switch that saw James Brophy move higher up the field.
On a slick surface in E10, the O’s were gifted the chance to go ahead with just a minute on the clock. Johnson pounced on a loose back pass from Wanderers defender Alex Baptiste and was brought down in the box by ‘keeper Billy Crellin. The forward then dusted himself down to take the penalty but saw his effort saved by Crellin.
Bolton could have found themselves in front moments later. Dan Happe had to be alert to mop up Arthur Gnahoua’s effort, after the forward had beaten the offside trap and dinked the ball over Lawrence Vigouroux.
Just seven minutes after seeing his early spot kick saved, Johnson responded in the best possible fashion. A corner fell to Brophy on the edge of the box, the winger then did excellently to beat his man and get to the by-line and set ‘the DJ’ up with the simplest of finishes to give Orient an eight minute lead.
The visitors spurned a glorious chance to level in the 14th minute. Harry Brockbank heading over from point blank range after he was found in the box by Nathan Delfounseo.
The O’s could have gone two in front after the Bolton backline failed to deal with McAnuff’s whipped ball in, however, Clay was unable to prod home and the defence managed to scramble it away.
After Wilkinson was brought down just outside the ‘d’, McAnuff was presented with the chance to add to his side’s advantage just before the break. And boy did he take it. The 38-year-old stepped up and curled one right into the top corner, leaving Crellin with no chance.
But the O’s weren’t done there. Another set piece and another goal, this time Wilkinson the scorer. Unselfishly following his own effort moments earlier, McAnuff allowed the former Bolton man to take one from the right-hand side and the forward repaid his captain’s faith by hitting an unstoppable strike hard and low past Crellin to put Orient three up at the break.
Orient started the second half as they finished the first, attempting their own goal of the season competition. Wilkinson again involved as he cut inside and unleashed one that flashed past Crellin’s left-hand post.
Clay, not content with the two worldies that came before, got in on the act with arguably the pick of the bunch in the 58th minute. When the central midfielder stepped into the Wanderers half you got the feeling the opposition were almost begging him to let fly from long range; and the 28-year-old duly obliged, hammering a sumptuous effort into the top corner to stretch Orient’s lead to four.
Having started the last four fixtures, and with his side four goals to the good, McAnuff received a deserved rest in the 68th minute when Embleton elected to replace his captain with Josh Wright.
A second change followed six minutes later, Brophy the man to make way for Louis Dennis.
And the third and final switch came with eight minutes to go as Maguire-Drew entered the fray in place of Wilkinson.
With the three points in the bag, the O’s saw out the closing stages in relative comfort to secure a memorable victory and stretch their unbeaten run to four games.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Akinola, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson, Cissé, McAnuff (Wright 68’), Clay, Wilkinson (Maguire-Drew 84’), Johnson, Brophy (Dennis 76’)
SUBS: Sargeant, Dayton, Turley, Kyprianou
GOALS: Johnson 8’, McAnuff 41’, Wilkinson 44’ Clay 57’
BOLTON: Crellin, Almeida Santos, Delaney, Delfouneso (Darcy 19’) Sarcevic, Crawford, Tutte (White 46’), Brockbank, Gnahoua, Baptiste (Gordon 46’), Kioso
SUBS: Comley, Hickman, Mascoll, Greenidge
BOOKED: Sarcevic, Almeida Santos, White
REF: Brett Huxtable