Both teams failed to implement their style of play in the opening five minutes but Orient soon warmed to the match and began to dictate the play. Jordan Maguire-Drew looked impressive in the early stages of the game and found dangerous positions down the right channel throughout the first-half.
Following the pattern of the play, Orient were first to threaten. JMD twisted and turned and beat a number of men in white to deliver a teasing ball into the penalty area but at full stretch, Murphy did enough to fist it away.
The O’s had a couple of chances around the 20 -minute mark of the game. First, Josh Coulson nodded Maguire-Drew’s free-kick wide of the mark; soon after, Captain Jobi McAnuff dragged a strike the wrong side of Murphy’s post having pulled into some space on the edge of the box.
Tranmere threatened down the other end, but Woolery’s tame strike trickled wide of Vigouroux’s near post, when really, he should have done better.
On the back of two consecutive defeats, Orient looked confident in possession and were worthy of a goal before the break. Maguire-Drew curled the ball wide from 18-yards and Sotiriou was denied by an important Mark Ellis tackle – meaning it was all square at half-time.
Danny Johnson will be frustrated not to have opened the score immediately after the restart. An O’s corner pinballed around the area before Ouss Cissè headed the ball to Johnson, who volleyed over from five yards with the goal beckoning.
The O’s continued to press for the opener but were denied on the hour mark by Murphy. Jobi McAnuff’s long range effort was parried towards Johnson, who slid ahead of his marker but failed to guide his strike either side of the ‘keeper, who ultimately made the save.
The introduction of Conor Wilkinson from the bench instantly impacted the game. The number 9’s stinging shot was too hot to handle for Murphy, who palmed the ball to Clay, who assisted Johnson for the all-important goal.
Clay did well to control the ball, that came into him at pace, before finding Johnson who turned his man and applied the finish inside the area.
Orient were patient throughout and navigated the closing 20 minutes professionally in order to seal an important three points away from home.
Ross Embleton’s men will be on the road again this Saturday to face Stevenage. Last year, Orient beat the Boro 3-0 at the Lamex Stadium; Ruel Sotiriou bagged a brace and Ouss Cissè completed the scoring.
TRANMERE: Murphy, O’Connor (Nelson 73’), Ridehalgh, Ellis, Morris, Spearing, Woolery, Feeney, Clarke, Banks (Khan 77’), Smith
SUBS: Davies, Walker-Rice, Ray, Hayde, Burton
ORIENT: Vigouroux, Akinola, Coulson, Happe, Brophy (Dayton 90’), Cisse, Clay, McAnuff, Sotiriou (Widdowson 86’), Johnson, Maguire-Drew (Wilkinson 68’)
SUBS: Sargeant, Ling, Turley, Wright
GOALS: Johnson 70’
REF: Samuel Barrott