It was Danny Johnson’s 17th goal of the season that was the difference, as Orient came back to touching distance of a playoff berth.
Leyton Orient were unchanged from the midweek victory over Southend United, with Tunji Akinola continuing to partner Dan Happe at centre-back.
It was one enforced change for the Ammies, as Luke Burgess replaced Ash Hunter – who missed the game through suspension.
A cagey start to proceedings saw both sides trying to force their way through, Burgess forcing Vigouroux into a low stop from an acute angle with seven minutes gone.
And it should have been the visitors who opened the scoring, after James Wilson’s low cross found Thomas-Asante with an open goal from inside the six -yard box.
It was a horror of a miss that followed, as Asante-Thomas stretched out and managed to lift it over the bar, when it seemed easier to score.
Conor Wilkinson, fresh from a goal midweek, looked to compound the misery with a strike from distance – but it swerved over Hladky’s bar.
Orient grew into the game, and had to negotiate their way through Salford’s high press – and on the half hour mark were rewarded for their patience.
Wilkinson’s good work out wide found Clay, who in turn found Danny Johnson on the edge of the box.
The Orient poacher allowed the ball to roll onto his left foot, and a fantastic, instinctive snapshot from 18 yards angled into the bottom left corner, and gave Hladky little chance to react.
Orient were keen to keep the lead established, and after early Salford pressure had a great chance to double their lead.
Craig Clay, already having assisted Johnson once, looked to find the striker again, with a through ball doing exactly that.
The Salford defence, however, tracked back well, and were able to force Johnson to lift his shot into the side netting, from the edge of the box.
This gave The O’s confidence, and after soaking up another Salford attack, broke quickly with James Brophy down the left – who curled a wonderful cross into the back post.
Lee Angol was there, waiting to nod it home, however couldn’t generate enough power on the header, and gave Hladky a straightforward save to make.
The game began to open up on the hour mark, and Salford had a golden chance to level when Henderson’s header set up Wilson, but Dan Happe was able to get in front of the shot and make a fantastic block.
Shortly after, it was Henderson’s turn to be denied, after a direct ball through the middle found the striker bearing down on goal, but Lawrence Vigouroux was on hand to deny him, and keep The O’s ahead.
Whilst Salford made changes, Orient stuck to their guns until late on – with the eleven men in red battling hard to hold onto a key three points into added time.
Sotiriou replaced the scorer Johnson on the ninety minute mark, as The O’s looked to see out the game.
And that’s exactly what they did, as the full-time whistle came and was promptly followed by Rockin’ All Over The World – and The O’s start 2021 with a bang.
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Happe, Brophy, Cisse, McAnuff, Clay, Angol, Wilkinson, Johnson (Sotiriou 90′)
Subs unused: Sargeant, Widdowson, Coulson, Maguire-Drew, Dayton, Kyprianou
Goals: Johnson 31’
Bookings: Clay 52’, Brophy 62′, Ling 85′
Salford City: Hladky, Touray, Lowe, Eastham, Clarke (Denny 69′), Bernard, Burgess (Andrade 56’), Threlkeld, Wilson, Thomas-Asante (Elliot 69′), Henderson
Subs unused: Turnbull, Smith, Touray.
Bookings: Lowe 35’
Ref: Carl Brook