Leyton Orient missed the chance to return to the top of the National League as Maidenhead United produced a shock to take all three points with a 1-0 win at the Breyer Group Stadium.

The O’s lost top spot in the week after Solihull Moors’ win over Aldershot, but their draw at home to Barnet gave Orient an opportunity to climb back to the summit.

Adrian Clifton scored the only goal of the game early in the second half after the hosts had been wasteful in the opening period.

Jay Simpson went straight into the Orient line-up after his return to the club was confirmed in midweek, Sam Ling was restored at right-back having missed the trip to Hartlepool, and Marvin Ekpiteta returned to the substitutes’ bench following a spell out with injury.

It was a fast start from the home side, earning themselves a corner within 10 seconds of the kick-off – the first one was cleared but another delivery saw Charlie Lee head wide.

The visitors also threatened early on, winning several corners but not making anything of them, and they also had a penalty appeal turned away when Clifton went down in the box. The referee was unmoved, and the resulting build-up led to an acrobatic effort from Clifton that went over.

Justin Edinburgh’s side then had an excellent ten-minute spell, putting together some incisive passing moves, firstly which led to Ling being unable to keep the ball in play and then Macauley Bonne poked wide after a neat interchange between Ling and James Brophy.

They were made to pay for their lack of potency in front of goal eight minutes into the second half, though, as Clifton found space in the box to side-foot past Brill and give the visitors the lead – despite appearing to be offside.

The hosts responded well to the set-back, with Joe Widdowson proving to be a threat down the left wing along with Brophy and Jobi McAnuff going close with a free-kick after Craig Clay was brought down.

However, some wayward passing let them down in the second half, breaking plenty of promising moves that could have led to chances to level the scores.

Edinburgh made two attacking substitutions in a big to change this, removing Lee and Jamie Turley in place of Matt Harrold and Jordan Maguire-Drew, with Simpson taken off moments later for Dale Gorman.

The changes applied more pressure to the away defence and after chances for McAnuff and Gorman went begging, the biggest opportunity fell to Harrold, who somehow shot over the bar after a powerful run and cross from Clay.

The visitors had a glorious chance to extend their lead in stoppage time when substitute Nana Owusu’s chip hit the post, but they held on to condemn Orient to defeat.

The O’s next outing sees them travel to National League North outfit Brackley Town in the fourth round of the FA Trophy on Saturday, February 23.

Leyton Orient team: Brill; Ling, Happe, Turley, Widdowson; Brophy, Lee, Clay, McAnuff; Bonne, Simpson

Subs: Sargeant, Ekpiteta, Maguire-Drew, Gorman, Harrold