Jobi McAnuff made two changes to the team that beat Oldham last week – bringing in Sam Ling and himself for the injured Dan Happe and Conor Wilkinson.
Orient started the game on the front foot and were denied an early opener, when Aidan Stone blocked Johnson’s shot behind for a corner, after the striker had latched onto a poor back pass.
Just seconds later, Orient’s leading marksman found the net from the resulting corner. The ball was whipped in towards the near post where Sam Ling nodded the ball into a crowd of players, before Johnson applied the all-important final touch.
The goal knocked the confidence out of the home side, who struggled to keep possession in the first-half.
Johnson caused the Mansfield defence problems all afternoon, and came close to scoring his second of the match, half-an-hour in. The number 39 played a one-two with skipper Craig Clay on the edge of the box, before spinning and firing over the crossbar.
Mansfield were toothless in offence and gave ‘keeper Lawrence Vigouroux very little to do, but when the Chilean was called into action to save Reid’s header, he was ever dependable.
A second before the break, Orient looked to double their advantage. Player-manager, Jobi McAnuff created space to whip a teasing cross into the box, but Clay could only head over the goal frame. HT: Mansfield Town 0-1 Leyton Orient
The Stags were much better following the restart and could well have equalised immediately after the restart but Lapslie’s shot was easily stopped by Vigouroux, after the ball trickled out to the Mansfield man.
Hector Kyprianou returned to action for the O’s after a successful international trip with Cyprus U21’s, replacing Jobi McAnuff on the hour.
Nigel Clough’s team continued to cross the ball into the area, however, the O’s backline stood resolute. A shining example of the Orient’s expert defending came in the 73rd minute, when Jamie Turley made a vital block to help Rawson’s header behind.
Johnson punished a lacklustre pass back to the goalkeeper to give Orient a healthy lead 13 minutes from the end. Perch’s ball was sneakily intercepted by the forward, who rounded the onrushing goalkeeper before stroking the ball home.
With a two-goal lead, Orient looked confident seeing out the match. With the wind knocked out of the host’s sails, McAnuff’s team had very little to do in the closing moments and earned a deserved victory – extending an unbeaten run to six matches and placing Orient one point a drift of the play-off places.
FT: Mansfield Town 0-2 Leyton Orient
MANSFIELD: Stone, Benning, Rawson, Bowery, Maris, Gordon (Sweeney 83’), Perch, Quinn (Charsley 80’), Reid (Sinclair 80’), Law (McLaughlin 76’), Lapslie (Clarke 76’)
SUBS: Stech, Ward
BOOKED: Sweeney 89’
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Ling, Akinola, Turley, Widdowson, Cisse, Clay, McAnuff (Kyprianou 67’), Kemp, Johnson, Brophy
SUBS: Sargeant, Judd, Dennis, Sweeney, Abrahams, Young
GOALS: Johnson 5’ Johnson 77’
BOOKED: Kemp 87’
REF: Bobby Madley