Ross Embleton named an unchanged lineup for this one. The only alterations came on the bench as midfielders Craig Clay and Hector Kyprianou returned to the matchday squad following their respective returns from injury and suspension.
Seeking to end their six-match run without a win, the O’s began playing with a higher tempo than seen in recent weeks. This fresh approach was exemplified in the 8th minute when Jobi McAnuff won the ball high up the pitch and released Danny Johnson. With Dan Kemp to his right, Orient’s top scorer elected to shoot but got it all wrong as his effort skewed past the post.
Although it was an unchanged lineup, there was a slight tweak to the Orient eleven with Conor Wilkinson starting the game on the left. The former Gillingham man linked up well with James Brophy from the off, and it was that combination that almost led to the opening goal. Brophy received the ball from Wilkinson and the full back went on one of his trademark mazy dribbles into the box before hitting a shot on his weaker right foot that deflected behind.
After a scramble in the box, Tranmere eventually cleared the resulting corner, but only as far as McAnuff. The former Jamaican international delivered a cross into the path of Adam Thompson who saw his header nestle into the side netting.
Against the run of play, the visitors took the lead mid-way through the first half. James Vaughan got on the end of Jay Spearing’s cross, Lawrence Vigouroux saved the former Everton man’s initial effort but was unable to prevent Paul Lewis from scrambling home.
Undeterred by going a goal down, Orient continued their positive start. Some neat interplay between McAnuff, Johnson and Wilkinson saw the latter find space down the left-hand side, he then cut onto his right foot and hit a fierce effort that was deflected away for a corner.
The first effort of the second half again came from Wilkinson. The 26-year-old received the ball from Brophy on the right-hand side and cut in onto his favoured left foot, however his shot was never going to trouble Scott Davies in the Tranmere goal.
Keith Hill’s side doubled their lead in the 55th minute. Vaughan dispossessed Adam Thompson some 30 yards from goal and set Kaiyne Woolery away. The former Swindon man then made no mistake in firing low past Vigouroux.
Thompson picked up an injury following Vaughan’s challenge and was replaced by Kyprianou immediately after the goal.
A double change came soon after as Embleton searched for a way back into the game. Ouss Cissé and Nick Freeman the players to make way for Craig Clay and Tristan Abrahams in a move that saw the O’s switch to a three at the back formation.
The change was to no avail however, as the visitors added a third. Kieran Morris nodded home from Lian Feeney’s corner after he had found space inside the six-yard box.
Embleton made his fourth change shortly afterwards with Jamie Turley replacing Kemp.
The defender made an instant impact as he powered home Brophy’s in-swinging free-kick to pull one back for the O’s.
Turley almost grabbed a second moments later. The former Notts County man connected well with McAnuff’s corner, but Davies was equal to his effort.
As the clock ticked down, the O’s refused to give in. Brophy met Wilkinson’s deep cross into the box well but was unable to direct his header past Davies.
That proved to be the final chance of the game though, as Orient slumped to their fifth home league defeat of the season.
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Akinola, Thompson (Kyprianou 57”), Happe, Brophy, Cissé (Clay 60”), McAnuff, Freeman (Abrahams 60”), Wilkinson, Johnson, Kemp (Turley 67”)
SUBS: Sargeant, Widdowson, Dayton,
BOOKED: McAnuff, Akinola
GOALS: Turley 68”
TRANMERE: Davies, O’Connor, Spearing, Vaughan (Nugent 84”), Woolery (Ridehalgh 74”), MacDonald, Feeney, Ray, Lewis, Clarke, Lloyd (Morris 46”)
SUBS: Murphy, Blackett-Taylor, Crawford, Kirby
BOOKED: Vaughan, Feeney
GOALS: Lewis 25”, Woolery 53”, Morris 63”
REF: Antony Coggins