The O’s recorded a third consecutive victory this afternoon as they ran out 2-0 winners at Maidstone United.
Defender Bondz N’Gala opened the scoring on the 36th minute to give the O’s the advantage at the break, before Macauley Bonne notched his 13th of the season seven minutes after the restart to seal the win.
Last weekend’s FA Trophy victory at Haringey Borough made it back-to-back victories for the O’s, and Head Coach Justin Edinburgh made one change to the starting XI for the trip to the Gallagher Stadium as Jake Caprice returned from suspension to replace Myles Judd.
On a chilly afternoon, it was Orient who created the first opportunity, when Josh Coulson headed over from a Jobi McAnuff free-kick.
Despite the early opportunity it proved to be an even affair during the early part of the game, with Maidstone’s Jai Reason recording the only chance for the hosts when he drilled an effort from 25-yards wide of the post on the 11th minute.
Five minutes later Bondz N’Gala had a chance to put the O’s ahead, but despite getting on the end of a James Dayton corner his header flew over the bar.
Dayton was creating a number of problems for the hosts and then had a chance himself soon after when he turned well 25-yards out before stinging the hands of Lee Worgan with a fierce strike which was eventually held.
Dean Brill had been relatively untroubled throughout, but a minute later had to be alert to keep out an Alex Finney effort before Orient responded with a wonderful passing move which ended with David Mooney placing a shot inches wide after latching onto a pass from Craig Clay.
Maidstone’s Jamar Loza was then guilty of spurning two good opportunities, first slicing a shot wide following a counter-attack on the 32nd minute before some nervy defending inside the Orient penalty area resulted in Loza suffering a similar fate with a shot from inside the box.
The missed opportunities would prove to be costly for the hosts, as Orient made no mistake from their next effort to open the scoring on the 36th minute when another Dayton corner caused havoc and fell to N’Gala at the far post to stroke home his first goal for the Club.
Having taken the lead, Orient looked to add a quick second with further pressure and another great passing move saw them come close when Clay flashed a ball across goal which was just too far in front of Mooney on the stretch.
That was to be the final chance of the host for either side, as Orient went into the break with a one-goal advantage at the Gallagher Stadium.
Both sides emerged unchanged for the second half, but within five minutes of the restart Orient were forced into their first change as Dayton limped off with what appeared to be a groin injury and was replaced by Matt Harrold.
The switch saw Harrold partner Mooney in attack as Bonne dropped back to a position on the wing, and within two minutes of the change the latter doubled the O’s advantage as he collected a pass from Caprice with his back to goal, and turned swiftly to find the bottom far corner.
Needing a way back into the game, Maidstone felt they should have had a penalty on the 58th minute when Delano Sam-Yorke was challenged by Coulson, but referee Chris O’Donnell waved play on.
The next 15 minutes saw the O’s have to deal with a number of Maidstone attacks, but the defence continued to frustrate the hosts before Sam-Yorke headed over from a Joe Anderson cross and Pigott saw an effort held by Brill.
It was clear to see frustrations were growing for the hosts and with 76 minutes on the clock Maidstone wasted a good opportunity from a free-kick as Pigott’s attempt from a central position curled over the crossbar.
With seven minutes remaining O’s Head Coach Justin Edinburgh made his final substitution, bringing on Jamie Sendles-White in place of Mooney as the visitors revered to a 4-4-2 diamond formation.
Four minutes stoppage time was shown by the fourth official but the O’s remained organised in defence to see out the game and second a third consecutive victory.
Orient are next in action on Boxing Day when we host Dagenham & Redbridge at the Matchroom Stadium.
MAIDSTONE: Worgan (C), Nana Twumasi, Wynter, Finney, Anderson, Lewis, Reason, Prestedge (Hines 60), Sam-Yorke (Collins 76), Pigott, Loza
SUBS: Hare, Okuonghae, Wraight
BOOKED: Nana Twumasi (3)
ORIENT: Brill, Caprice, N’Gala, Coulson, Widdowson, McAnuff (C), Clay, Lawless, Dayton (Harrold 50), Mooney (Sendles-White 83), Bonne
SUBS: Grainger, Happe, Koroma
GOALS: N’Gala (36), Bonne (52)
BOOKED: McAnuff (74), Lawless (75), Harrold (89), Bonne (90+4)
REFEREE: Chris O’Donnell