Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh slammed the performance of referee Richard Hulme and insisted had his side been awarded a penalty it would have changed the game.

A brace from Carl Piergianni and one from Rory Gaffney consigned the O’s to just their second home defeat of the season against promotion rivals Salford City in a heavy 3-0 reverse.

But while Edinburgh praised Salford’s performance he was critical of the officials for their decisions at key moments in the contest.

“There definitely was a penalty but again we have had inadequate referees and linesmen with clear views, not obstructed, to make a clear decision. It could have changed the game but unfortunately it didn’t,” Edinburgh said.

“We come up against a good team. They’ve got good players, they were organised, once they got that lead they were determined not to give it up. They had 11 men in their own half, we just couldn’t find the space and it became a very frustrating and difficult afternoon.”

Of particular disappointment for the home contingent was both the timing and the manner of the goals conceded, as Salford scored twice from set pieces and capitalised on some uncharacteristically shaky defending.

To rub salt into their wounds, Orient then lost Josh Coulson to a second-half injury – the severity of which is as yet unknown – and struggled to create clear-cut openings.

Orient’s golden opportunity presented itself on 47 minutes but Josh Koroma, who was marshalled well by Salford’s trio of centre halves, could only fire straight at Chris Neal.

Edinburgh, who called for calm after their most recent defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge, has again backed his players to react when they visit Wrexham in the FA Trophy next weekend.

“It is unlike us but once we conceded the goals that we did it was always going to be a tall order to get back into it. It wasn’t through lack of effort, determination, there was that in abundance,” Edinburgh said.

“It’s never been any different. It’s hard to take defeats, it’s only our second one here [at home] this season. You always look for a reaction and nothing has never not come from that and I expect another one next week.”

New signing Jordan Maguire-Drew was introduced to the fans on the hour and carried a greater threat down the right than James Brophy had hitherto managed.

It is clear he will need time to settle into his new surroundings but the additional competition has been welcomed by the Orient head coach, particularly following the injury to James Dayton.

Of more pressing concern, however, have been rumours linking star strikers Macauley Bonne and Josh Koroma with moves away from E10 but Edinburgh was quick to quash talk as hearsay and nothing more.

He said: “I’ll be honest, we’ve had no enquiries and no contact. I think people can quite easily call speculation on social media now, but there are no facts behind that as far as I know at the moment. So, no enquiries, no bids, no nothing.”

Orient’s next league test will not come for another fortnight when they visit Ebbsfleet before welcoming fellow Kent outfit Maidstone to the Breyer Group Stadium on Saturday, January 26.