The O's produced a dominant display in E10 to register our first points of the season and defeat Solihull Moors 3-1.
A brilliant first half showing saw the O’s denied by the woodwork on three separate occasions, but Steve Davis’ side were able to make the breakthrough in the 21st minute through First Team Captain Charlie Lee.
Orient’s lead was then doubled soon after the restart, as David Mooney converted expertly from a Jake Caprice cross to register his first goal for the Club since returning to E10.
Afolayan Oladapo pulled a goal back for Solihull with just under 15 minutes remaining, but the victory was sealed when defender George Elokobi converted from a James Dayton corner on the 78th minute.
Keen for a strong response following Saturday’s defeat at Sutton United, Head Coach Steve Davis named the same starting XI and substitute bench for the visit of Solihull.
With a wonderful atmosphere building around the ground before kick-off, it was the hosts who created the first chance of the night as David Mooney stung the hands of Connal Trueman in the Solihull goal with a strike from outside the area.
Orient looked the most threatening of the sides, and created another chance two minutes later as Jobi McAnuff’s corner was flicked across goal by Macauley Bonne, though defender George Elokobi was unable to make a connection at the back stick.
It was one-way traffic before the game had reached the 15-minute mark, and the O’s were then denied by the woodwork as Charlie Lee drove forward with the ball before picking out McAnuff to his left. The winger then showed great skill to cut inside onto his right foot, only for his shot to clip the outside of the post.
The Orient pressure showed no signs of letting up as Mooney flashed a shot wide of the post, and the O’s were denied by the post for a second time on the 17th minute when Bonne’s low strike glanced off the far post.
Four minutes later the breakthrough was finally made however, as Orient finally found the opening goal when skipper Lee was on hand to poke home from a McAnuff corner.
The goal was no less than what Orient deserved for their efforts, and winger James Dayton was inches away from adding a sublime second on the 30th minute from a rasping free-kick, only to see his effort crash back off the frame of the goal – the third time for the O’s.
Chances continued to come thick and fast as Bonne placed a lob wide of the post after racing onto a powerful header from Elokobi, and with the half time whistle looming McAnuff then drilled a shot wide of the goal as Orient went into the break one goal to the good.
Following the interval Orient picked up from where they had left off, as McAnuff fired wide before the O’s fans were able to celebrate a second goal when a low ball from Caprice was brilliantly stroked home by Mooney from just inside the box.
The Matchroom Stadium was absolutely rocking after Mooney’s strike, and with 25 minutes remaining the O’s came close to adding a third on two different occasions as Dayton saw a shot blocked from inside the area before Bonne was denied by Trueman at the near post.
Orient made their first change of the evening on the 75th minute as captain Lee was replaced by Craig Clay for the final stages, though two minutes later the home side were taken by surprise as Solihull pulled a goal back out of nowhere courtesy of a rasping strike from Afolayan Oladapo.
The O’s were not to let that faze them however, as the two-goal lead was restored immediately when a Dayton corner came off Elokobi before deflecting off a Solihull defender and finding the bottom corner.
Elokobi may not have known much about the goal, but Orient’s lead was certainly not in doubt and Clay almost notched a fourth soon after but his shot following a corner was held by Trueman.
Oladapo looked to grab a second for the visitors in the closing seconds, but despite getting the better of Coulson his shot curled wide of the post as the O’s registered their first victory of the season.
Orient are also in E10 this Saturday when we host Maidstone United at the Matchroom Stadium.
ORIENT: Grainger, Caprice, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson, Lee (C) (Clay 75), Lawless, Dayton (Koroma 90+2), McAnuff (Boco 87), Mooney, Bonne
SUBS: Sargeant, Clark
GOALS: Lee (21), Mooney (47), Elokobi (78)
BOOKED: Lee (51), McAnuff (81)
SOLIHULL: Trueman, Thomas (Tonks 76), Kelleher, Green, Cullinane-Liburd, Carter (C), Murombedzi, Edwards, Carline, Oladapo, Benbow (Dunkley 72)
SUBS: Vaughan, Kettle, Cleary
GOALS: Oladapo (77)
BOOKED: Edwards, Carline, Murombedzi, Cullinane-Liburd
ATTENDANCE: 4,411 (97)
REFEREE: Carl Brook