Leyton Orient put in a battling second half display as they went down to a 5-1 pre-season defeat against Arsenal Under-23s at Brisbane Road.

The Gunners pulled clear in the first half thanks to goals from Krystian Bielik, Chuba Akpom and Stephy Mavididi before Carl Jenkinson made it 4-0 after the restart.

Macauley Bonne pulled one back for the O’s, but it was the visitors who had the last word on the evenings action when Eddie Nketiah scored from close range.

Orient’s focus now turns to Saturday and a trip to Sutton United for what will be the club’s first ever outing at National League level in its 112-year history.

In what was the final game of the O’s pre-season schedule, Steve Davis took the chance to name James Dayton in his side after the midfielder’s signing was announced shortly before kick-off.

A fast start from the visitors almost yielded a go-ahead goal inside 50 seconds of kick-off as a low cross from the right found Akpom unmarked in the box.

The Arsenal man sent a placed shot back across goal, but couldn’t beat Charlie Grainger who flung out a strong hand to deny the forward with a wonderful stop.

Parity would last just three minutes, however, after a corner from the right was only partially cleared and Bielik lashed home the loose ball on the volley from close range.

Perhaps expectedly, Orient were struggling to have much of a say in proceedings in the opening stages but created a half chance with 12 minutes played.

A corner from Josh Koroma was cleared to the edge of the box where Dayton Controlled well before seeing his shot bravely charged down.

The chance was brief respite for Orient and they were two down moments later when a lovely Gunners move split their defence wide open.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide picked the ball up some 20 yards from goal and lifted a delicate chip into the path of the ever-dangerous Akpom who converted first time to double the lead.

Orient began to have more impact in proceedings as the game ticked towards the half-hour mark and a smart move allowed David Mooney his first sight of goal.

The forward collected the ball in the middle of the Arsenal half and drove at the heart of the Gunners defence, but could only fire tamely at goal after dwelling on possession.

It proved to be the closest the home side would come to finding the back of the net in a first half in which Arsenal dominated.

They were hit with a third blow on the stroke of half-time when Mavididi controlled on the edge of the box and fired left-footed into the top corner.

There appeared to be little danger when he picked the ball up, but the quality of the finish left Grainger with little chance.

Davis looked to ring the changes at half-time as he made 11 substitutions, with the introduction of Jobi McAnuff almost yielding instant reward.

The veteran number seven picked the ball up in space in midfield and let fly from range, but his effort flew over the crossbar.

It was a sign of things to come for the remainder of a productive opening 10 minutes to the half and Bonne was unfortunate not to add to his haul of pre-season strikes.

The ball was laid back to the forward 18 yards from goal and he sent a curling effort towards the bottom right corner which drifted just wide.

The decent start mattered little with 66 minutes on the clock as Arsenal’s Premier League quality came to the fore to make it 4-0.

A break down the left ended with a fine low cross from Donell Malen which found Jenkinson, who got forward well from right-back well all night, in space six yards out to turn in.

The near 2,000 Orient fans inside Brisbane Road were given something to cheer with 20 minutes to play after a well worked move earned them a consolation strike.

A pass into McAnuff gave him the chance to cross and Bonne did well to divert the ball home for a deserved goal for the hosts.

Davis’ side were showing great spirit and were arguably the better side in the second half as they continued to press gamely despite the daunting scoreline.

Nonetheless, it was Arsenal who scored next after a goalmouth scramble, which saw Nketiah attempt two back heels, ended in the Arsenal number 10 smashing home a fifth.

If Orient can replicate their second half showing throughout the upcoming season, the optimism surrounding the E10 club will have little reason to dissipate.