Ross Embleton made six changes from the side that lost out in the FA Cup to Newport at the weekend.
Young full-backs, Jayden Sweeney and Jordan Thomas both came into the team for their second and third appearances of the season respectively, while Hector Kyprianou retained his place in the heart of the midfield after scoring against the Exiles on Saturday.
In an alteration from their usual 4-3-3 system, the O’s lined up in a 5-2-3, with Jordan Maguire-Drew and James Dayton playing either side of Louis Dennis in the front three.
It was to be Maguire-Drew who had the Orient’s first shot of the game, the winger found space on the edge of the box and let fly with his weaker right foot, but it was comfortable in the end for Ashley Maynard-Brewer in the Addicks goal.
Despite a fairly positive start, Embleton’s side fell behind in the 12th minute. Albie Morgan broke free down the left and squared the ball across for Wassim Aouachria to tap home.
Following the goal, the visitors enjoyed a comfortable spell of possession, and they created an opening in the 24th minute when Dayton played in Dennis. The 28-year-old then beat his man and got a low shot off, however a smart save from Maynard-Brewer denied the O’s an equaliser.
Dayton and Dennis combined once again five minutes later, a neat reverse pass from the latter saw the former find space in the box, but the ex Portsmouth man’s attempted cross was cut out by Addicks centre back Jason Pearce.
Kyprianou was certainly the standout player for Orient in the first half, his tidy footwork and pinpoint passing kept the play ticking over for Embleton’s side, and he almost provided an assist in the 39th minute.
The Cypriot broke from midfield and flashed a ball across the face where Dennis looked certain to prod home, until an unkind bounce saw the ball bobble over the crossbar, leaving the O’s trailing at the break.
Orient’s first effort following the interval fell to Dayton. Some good interplay between Thomas and Sam Ling down the right saw the latter eventually find Dayton whose curled effort was clawed away by Maynard-Brewer.
After dominating the majority of the play since falling behind early on, Embleton’s side came a whisker away from conceding a second in the 56th minute. Morgan broke through the O’s backline and looked to have beaten Sam Sargeant, however the ball cannoned back off the inside of the post and into the grateful arms of Orient’s number one.
The away side responded with their own decent effort moments later as Maguire-Drew curled an in-swinging free-kick, some 25 yards from goal, into the side netting.
Charlton doubled their lead in the 64th minute. Substitute Jay Mingi met Marcus Maddison’s free-kick well and Sargeant was unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Orient cancelled out Mingi’s effort almost immediately though. Dayton found Dennis in the penalty area and the forward then finished low into the left-hand corner to pull one back and notch his second of the season.
Buoyed by the goal, the O’s went close again soon after. Dayton involved once more, as he cut onto his favoured left foot and fired one narrowly over.
Lee Bowyer’s side added a third in the 75th minute as Maddison broke through and fired past Sargeant, via the crossbar, to extend his side’s lead.
Following the goal, Embleton made his first change of the tie, Kyprianou the player to make way for Oussenyou Cissé.
A double switch came soon after, as Sweeney and Dennis were replaced by James Brophy and Danny Johnson.
Maguire-Drew went close with just over seven minutes to play. The former Brighton man’s precise free kick ended up rattling the crossbar before going behind.
Johnson and Maddison both had chances for either side before the full-time whistle, but neither were able to keep their efforts down.
Orient already knew before tonight’s game that they would be assured a place in the next round of this competition, and this result also secured a 1st place finish in Group O on goals scored which guarantees a Second Round tie at the Breyer Group Stadium.
ORIENT: Sargeant, Thomas, Ling, Turley, Widdowson, Sweeney (Brophy 82’), Kyprianou (Cissé 77’), Wright, Maguire-Drew, Dayton, Dennis (Johnson 82’)
SUBS: Vigouroux, Happe, Coulson, Wilkinson
CHARLTON: Maynard-Brewer, Pearce (Mingi 46’), Matthews, Morgan, Maddison, Aouachria (Gavin 70’), Vennings (Powell 72’), Ghandour, Barker, Aidoo, Henry
SUBS: Osaghae, Wiredu
BOOKED: Aouachria, Barker, Aidoo, Morgan
GOALS: Aouachria, Mingi, Maddison
REF: Charles Breakspear