A battling Leyton Orient display again went unrewarded as the O’s fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town.
Orient had the advantage early on when skipper Matthew Spring volleyed beyond Alex Smithies but the visitors were level within five minutes, with the unfortunate Jimmy Smith getting the last touch on a Jordan Rhodes effort.
And in a first half of few chances, Rhodes popped up late on to put the Terriers in front at the break.
Orient looked like the only side who would score in the second period but as the game entered stoppage time, Rhodes put the result beyond doubt with his second of the night.
Ryan Dickson returned for Leyton Orient in defence following his one-match suspension.
The Southampton loanee came in for Scott Cuthbert who was forced off with a hamstring injury in the weekend defeat to Charlton Athletic.
Dean Cox returned to the starting line-up following illness and replaced Kevin Lisbie, with David Mooney leading the line up front.
The third change saw Marc Laird come back into the XI at the heart of the O’s midfield, replacing Sunderland youngster Adam Reed.
Lisbie and Reed both dropped to the bench where they were joined by Syam Ben Youssef, Calvin Andrew and Solomon Taiwo.
Lining up for the Terriers was Tom Clarke who spent time on loan with the O’s earlier in the campaign.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening exchanges, with Huddersfield enjoying a series of corners while the O’s saw Mooney headed wide at the near post shortly after.
Town looked to be keen to show the attacking intent but as Orient settled, they started to press and found themselves in front after 14 minutes.
George Porter’s long throw into the box was flicked on in the direction of Cox and with the winger challenging a defender for the ball, it fell kindly to Spring who took a touch before firing in a sweet volley for the advantage.
The lead lasted just four minutes though as the promotion chasers immediately found an equaliser.
A corner into the box was not dealt with properly by the Orient defence and the ball somehow fell to Rhodes with his back goal.
The Terriers’ top scorer showed some quick thinking to back heel the ball beyond Paul Rachubka with the helpless Smith only able to divert the ball into the net on the line.
Two early goals might have suggested a frenetic pace to the contest but there followed somewhat of a lull in openings with neither side able to apply the killer pass to create.
It was the visitors who enjoyed the next chance on the half-hour as Peter Clarke’s header from a corner was cleared by Spring at the back post, before Laird shot tamely wide shortly after.
The sides looked to be heading for the break level but as the half entered stoppage time, a long throw in on the left from Sean Morrison seemed to elude everyone but Rhodes, who got a neat flick on the ball to score, with Rachubka left flat-footed by the pace of the ball.
It was the Terriers who enjoyed the first chance of the second period when Rhodes headed over a Diego Arismendi cross following a swift move but the introduction of Lisbie ten minutes in had an immediate for the O’s going forward.
The former Charlton Athletic man played in Mooney whose cross was blocked for a corner which caused confusion in the visiting defence but nobody was able to apply the decisive touch.
Orient were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but for all their time on the ball, Russell Slade’s side were struggling to break through the lines in front of them as the Terriers offered great organisation.
Dickson showed good determination to get down the left flank and force a corner which eventually fell to George Porter who was unable to get a clean connection on his strike while shortly after, Lisbie headed wide from a corner as Orient enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Set pieces were showing the O’s at their most threatening with Spring the next to try his luck as Cox found the skipper on the edge of the box from a corner.
Having Dickson back in the side added another threat for Orient as he again supplied the ball into the box from a free kick but despite Lisbie’s persistence, Peter Clarke was able to eventually clear.
Town had offered little going forward in the second period but they would still have the final say when they confirmed the points in the 90th minute.
Rhodes was in the right place to meet a long ball and was fortunate to get the better of both Ben Chorley and Terrell Forbes before passing the ball beyond a helpless Rachubka to confirm the result.
Orient: Rachubka; Forbes, Chorley, Leacock, Dickson; Jimmy Smith; Porter, Laird (Lisbie 56), Spring, Cox; Mooney (Andrew 83).
Subs: Ben Youssef, Reed, Taiwo.
Huddersfield: Smithies; Hunt (Woods 46), P Clarke, Morrison, T Clarke; Novak (Arfield 46), Kay, Arismendi, Ward; Rhodes, Lee (Cadamarteri 78).
Subs: Roberts, Bennett.
Attendance: 3,674 (603).