Crawley were put ahead in the first half through captain George Francomb’s right-footed strike.
Orient found themselves level after an hour when Theo Archibald’s cross from the right sailed over Crawley goalkeeper, Glenn Morris. The ball first hit the post before rebounding back off Morris and into the net.
Moments later, Kwesi Appiah’s goal put Crawley back in front and ensured the visitors went home with the three points. Orient captain Darren Pratley picked up a second yellow card in added time at the end of the match.
Kenny Jacket made one change to the team that beat Swindon Town on Tuesday evening as Adam Thompson replaced Omar Beckles in the defence. Beckles missed out, Jackett later revealed, owing to Covid-19 related reasons.
Crawley Town Manager, John Yems, made three changes to his side that had earned a point away at Walsall, in their last match. Joel Lynch, Will Ferry and Kwesi Appiah returned to the starting eleven at the expense of Jake Hessenthaler, James Tilley and Mark Marshall.
Crawley won the toss and opted to change ends, leaving the O’s to attack the Tommy Johnston South Stand for the first half.
The visitors began the match in a 3-4-3 formation with Tom Nicholls and Kwesi Appiah either side of Ashley Nadesan.
The visitors created the first chance of the match when Nadesan found some space just inside the O’s penalty area. His tame shot was comfortably dealt with by Vigouroux, in goal.
Seconds later, Crawley almost opened the scoring as Will Ferry burst into the box from the left wing. Ferry initially managed to touch the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper before he was quickly surrounded by the recovering Orient defenders. After riding some tackles, the Red Devils’ full-back turned and shot straight at the Vigouroux.
Harry Smith had Orient’s first shot on goal when a deflected cross from Tom James fell kindly for him on the corner of the six-yard box. The Orient number nine couldn’t get enough power on his improvised shot to beat Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris though, who diverted the ball wide for a corner.
It was Crawley who opened the scoring when midfielder, George Francomb, met a cut-back from Archie Davis just inside the O’s penalty area. His powerful fist-time shot beat Vigouroux at the near-post to give the visitors the lead.
As half-time approached, Ashley Nadesan was put through one-on-one against Vigouroux. The Orient goalkeeper was quick off his line in an attempt to narrow the angle of Nadesan’s shot. The Crawley forward’s right-footed effort eventually sailed narrowly wide of Vigouroux’s right post.
During the first forty-five minutes, Orient had struggled to get a lot of service to Smith and Drinan up front. The first twenty minutes of the second half saw that same theme continue, as Orient struggled to present the forwards with presentable goal-scoring opportunities.
Orient levelled in fortuitous circumstances, mid-way through the second half. It initially seemed as though Theo Archibald’s over-hit cross from the right wing would sail out harmlessly for a goal kick. Instead, the ball hit the inside of the far post before rebounding off Crawley goalkeeper, Glenn Morris on its way into the goal.
Crawley were back in front five minutes later when George Francomb lead a counter-attack from midfield. He drove with the ball at the Orient defence before passing wide for Ashley Nadesan.
Nadesan’s attempted return pass found Francomb in space near the penalty spot, but the Crawley captain mis-timed his shot as the ball ran through his legs.
Unfortunately for Orient, the ball rolled straight to Crawley’s top scorer this season, Kwesi Appiah, who made no mistake with his finish back across goal, into the bottom right corner of the net.
With full time approaching, Orient captain, Darren Pratley, saw a header float over the bar when he rose highest to meet Archibald’s cross from the right. Both teams struggled to create clear goal-scoring opportunities in the rainy conditions.
Crawley Town substitute, Reece Grego-Cox, had a shot saved by Vigouroux deep into added time after being presented the opportunity by an Orient mistake. The O’s goalkeeper flung himself to his right to save Grego-Cox’s effort.
Orient captain Darren Pratley saw red after picking up two yellow cards in added time, the second perhaps soft – with Pratley protesting this to the referee.
The O’s couldn’t create one last chance for an equaliser as Crawley ensured that the remaining minutes were played predominantly in the Orient half of the pitch.
Attendance: 5,132 (383)
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, James (Happe 39’), Thompson, Clay, Smith, Kemp, Archibald, Mitchell (Young 74’), Drinan, Pratley (c), Ogie (Wood 74’)
Subs unused: Byrne, Omotoye, Sotirou, Papadopoulos
Goals: Morris (62’ og)
Yellow Cards: Smith (32’), Ogie (13’), Clay (73’), Happe (82’), Wood (87’) Pratley (90+1’ + 90+6’)
Red Cards: Pratley (90+6’)
Crawley Town: Morris, Davies, Francomb, Craig, Powell, Nichols, Nadesan (Grego-Cox 81’), Francillette, Ferry, Appiah (Tilley 90+2’), Lynch
Subs Unused: Nna Noukeu, Frost, Kowalczyk, Bansal-McNulty, Marshall
Goals: Francomb (32’), Appiah (66’)
Yellow Cards: Appiah (28’), Ferry (37’) Davies (51’)