Conor Wilkinson’s second goal for Leyton Orient wasn’t enough to spark a comeback as the O’s fell to a 2-1 defeat away at Colchester United.

Wilkinson capitalised on a horrendous error at the back from the hosts, eventually tapping into an empty net after goalkeeper Dean Gerken had gifted him possession, but goals from Kwame Poku and Ryan Jackson had already put the U’s two goals to the good before that.

Following defeat to Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night, Ross Embleton made two changes to the side as Wilkinson came in for the injured Lee Angol and James Brophy replaced Dale Gorman.

It took only three minutes for Colchester to open the lead, albeit in fortuitous circumstances, as Theo Robinson’s cross was poked towards Poku, and his effort took a nasty deflection before rolling past Dean Brill in the Orient goal.

A similar move soon after almost resulted in a second goal for Poku, but the O’s registered their first attempt in response as Louis Dennis held off a challenge to lay off for Wilkinson, but his effort nicked off a defender and looped into Gerken’s hands.

Orient began to settle into a pattern following this chance and were starting to cause problems for Colchester. An excellent move involving Josh Wright and Jordan Maguire-Drew set up a chance for Dennis to deliver, but his cross was cleared from the goal-mouth, and Josh Coulson and Marvin Ekpiteta both had shots blocked.

Despite this though, Colchester doubled their lead controversially when they were awarded a throw-in, despite Orient’s protests that it should have gone the other way, and from that move Jackson blasted an effort into the top corner to increase the hosts’ advantage.

Orient could have been forgiven for seeing it out until half-time and re-grouping, but they were awarded an absolute gift by Colchester shortly before the break.

Gerken had the ball played back to him after an Orient move broke down, but stood on the ball as he tried to lay it off for Tom Eastman. Dennis nicked in to rob the goalkeeper of the ball, and he teed up Wilkinson to fire in for the O’s.

That seemed to buoy the visitors at the start of the second period and they almost levelled the game when Joe Widdowson sent in a delightful cross for Dennis, but he bent his effort just wide of the post.

Brill, who was almost the hero in earning something from the Crewe game in the week, kept Orient in the game once more as it edged towards the closing stages, charging off his line to deny Frank Nouble.

There was to be one final chance for Orient to get something from the game. Substitute James Alabi sent in a shot that deflected off a Colchester defender, but just as it looked like it was going to trickle over the line, Gerken leapt on top of it to keep the score at 2-1.

That was how it finished too, and Orient are now win-less in League Two in over a month.

They will have the opportunity to end that run this Saturday when they host Port Vale at the Breyer Group Stadium, kicking off at 3pm.