There were audible calls for Steve Davis’ head as Gateshead condemned Leyton Orient to a ninth league game without victory, with a 2-0 win at Brisbane Road tonight.

Jordan Burrow nodded in from close-range with the first chance of the game to give the Tynesiders an early lead, and they could have added to it before the break in a half where the O’s changed formation twice without ever looking comfortable.

David Mooney should have levelled after half-time when he dawdled on the ball when unmarked in a great position, and gave goalkeeper Dan Hanford time to spread himself and block his overdue effort.

The O’s then threw away any chance they had of a comeback when Mark Ellis’ back pass beat Charlie Grainger, and presented Burrow an open goal to seal victory for the visitors.

Davis made only a single change from Saturday’s defeat to league leaders Macclesfield, recalling the fit-again Jobi McAnuff and dropping Romuald Boco to the bench.

Orient looked more confident than their eight-game winless streak would suggest in the opening few minutes, hoping to acclimatise to the game without any rash mistakes.

That hope lasted all of eight minutes. From the game’s first attack, Luke Hannant got clear down the left from a throw-in, doubling up on Orient’s wing-back Jake Caprice.

He crossed for Burrow, far from a colossus at 6’1”, to beat Dan Happe from close range at the near post for a depressingly familiar opener.

The inevitability of the goal was summed up by how little it changed the game. Orient looked just as enthusiastic as they had before, and happy enough in possession, if largely uninventive with it.

Happe registered their first shot, if you could call it that, when striding forwards from a half-cleared long throw, before firing a daisycutter wide from 25 yards.

Burrow’s shot from a Myles Judd slip, this time straight into the arms of Grainger, prompted a change in formation, with Orient going 4-3-3 - with Macauley Bonne’s qualities as a target-man restricted to a place out wide.

It did little to help the O’s, who still looked willing but only occasionally able, although a pinpoint McAnuff pass inside the full-back set Caprice through, but he found Dan Hanford brave to fly off his line and thwart the makeshift forward.

There was little more to speak of in the first half, only to say that Orient’s defence looked paper thin the moment Gateshead attacked through midfield, and James Brophy looked the only player really capable of wrestling the game back in Orient’s favour.

They could have gone in with a two-goal lead just after the O’s changed formation for a second time, to a 4-4-2, but Jordan Preston contrived to side-foot Hannant’s low, fizzed cross wide of the far post with Grainger beaten.

A half-time change replaced Widdowson with Dayton as the O’s shifted their personnel again, and he provided a cross moments after his arrival which was about as dangerous as they had looked all evening, needing a Hanford punch under the nose of Bonne to thwart the danger.

The defensive frailties remained, however, and Burrow could have got his second when he was found unmarked and shot straight at Grainger, before the O’s carved out their best chance when some fine build-up ended with Dayton’s shot being blocked.

Gateshead were almost masters of their own downfall when Caprice’s cross was missed by Fraser Kerr, and Mooney could barely believe his luck when the ball landed at his feet. 

All he had to do was slot it beyond Hanford - but his indecisiveness, with only a solitary goal since August, cost him as the goalkeeper made himself big and snuffed out his shot.

In the end, the O’s managed to be masters of theirs instead, when Ellis, under pressure, looked back to Grainger but instead set Burrow through for a second of the night, which was followed by cries of “Davis Out” from more than one side of the ground.

As the final whistle blew to secure Gateshead a first win in seven games, the boos were even louder - and must be getting more audible from the Brisbane Road boardroom.

Leyton Orient: Grainger; Ellis, Happe, Widdowson (Dayton 46); Caprice, McAnuff (Boco 68), Clay, Brophy, Judd; Bonne, Mooney (Sotoriou 67).

Not used: Sargeant, Westbrook, Sotiriou, Boco.