Leyton Orient scored once in each half to record a 2-0 win over Harrogate at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Josh Coulson flicked his side in front after just three minutes before, in the dying embers of the game, Matt Harrold thumped in from a corner.

Jobi McAnuff and Jordan Maguire-Drew returned to the starting 11 for the O’s, while Jamie Turley returned to the bench after featuring in training this week following an injury.

McAnuff made an instant impact too, setting up the opening goal after just three minutes when a corner was played short to him, and his curling cross was flicked home by Coulson to give the O’s the lead.

Harrogate responded with a chance of their own straight away but were unable to find the target from a corner, and it was Orient who were creating most of the game’s opportunities – James Brophy burst into the box from the right but couldn’t find anyone with his low cross and Maguire-Drew failed to really trouble James Belshaw with his attempt from the edge of the box.

The visitors then managed to sustain a spell of pressure but failed to have any attempt on goal to trouble Dean Brill – the closest they came was when Jack Senior’s cross from the left went all the way through to Mark Beck at the far post, but he couldn’t put enough power on his header.

Justin Edinburgh’s side continued to be the more dominant of the two, but clear-cut chances were at a premium for both teams.

Joe Widdowson won a corner in the opening minutes of the half that the O’s failed to capitalise on and Koroma did well to beat a defender after the ball bounced kindly for him, but he blazed his shot over from a tight angle.

Though they continued to play a defensive game, it was actually Harrogate who had the best chance of the second period up until the hour mark. Thewlis got in behind the defence and rounded Brill, but he took too long to shoot and could only hit the post before Brophy cleared from the goalmouth.

Harrold was then introduced in place of Maguire-Drew and almost made an immediate impact when he met Brophy’s corner, but his effort was glanced comfortably wide of Belshaw’s goal.

Orient wasted a number of golden opportunities to double their lead as the clock hit the 70-minute mark. Marvin Ekpiteta was firstly denied by an excellent stop from Belshaw at the near post and, from the resulting corner, it fell to Harrold to re-deliver into the box but, after a spell of pressure, Koroma fired over to end the move.

The goalscoring hero then proved to be a defensive hero just minutes before the additional time was shown as Harrogate once again got in behind Brill, but Coulson was on hand to get there just before it crossed the line and clear for a corner.

In the dying minutes, Orient finally doubled their lead when a corner from Brophy was thumped home by Harrold at the far post to make the game safe.

The wins means the O’s stay atop the National League going into Monday’s vital clash against Solihull Moors, the penultimate game of the season.

Orient team: Brill; Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; McAnuff, Maguire-Drew, Clay, Brophy; Koroma, Bonne

Substitutes: Sargeant, Harrold, Lee, Turley, Simpson

Attendance:6,665 (160 Harrogate fans)