The Carl Fletcher era at Leyton Orient got off to the worst possible start as they were thrashed 4-0 away at the new boss' former club Plymouth Argyle.

Orient had been on an impressive four-game unbeaten run prior to the match, the latter three being wins, but a first-half blitz from Argyle saw them four up at the break thanks to Joel Grant, Zak Rudden, Callum McFadzean and a Joe Widdowson own goal.

Fletcher named an unchanged starting 11 to the final one that Ross Embleton fielded at Grimsby Town on Saturday, but there were places on the bench for Jamie Turley, recovering from injury, and youngster Hector Kyprianou.

After an even opening quarter of an hour at Home Park, Argyle took the lead in hugely controversial circumstances.

Dean Brill produced a fantastic double save and, as the ball came down from his second stop, Rudden controlled the ball with his arm in direct view of the referee. Grant hammered home the loose ball with Orient expecting play to be pulled back, but they were left furious when the official let the goal stand.

Having already suffered defeat against Argyle this season, a 2-0 loss in the first round of the Carabao cup, the O's will have been hoping to avoid a repeat and looked to get back into the game.

Within three minutes of taking the lead though, Argyle doubled their advantage when Rudden headed home from close range.

Ryan Lowe's side were looking out of sight already and Orient's up-turn in form earlier in the month looked a distant memory, particularly when the home side added their third of the evening when McFadzean found the net from the edge of the box.

Orient's misery was fully compounded before half-time and Plymouth were fully out of sight when Brill pushed a cross against Widdowson, and the ball rebounded into the net for the fourth.

Fletcher made one change at the break in a bid to at least get something out of the game, introducing Louis Dennis in place of James Dayton.

The Pilgrims had the first opportunity of the second period but saw Rudden's effort saved by Brill, and Orient then had a chance through Dan Happe that was kept out by Alex Palmer.

The closest the O's came to getting anything out of the game, though, was when substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew's effort was deflected onto the top of the crossbar.

Defeat for Orient sees them drop back into the bottom half by way of a point, but they could climb back into the top 12 with victory at home to Carlisle United this weekend.

Orient team: Brill; Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Wright, Clay, Gorman; Dayton, Brophy, Harrold

Subs: Maguire-Drew, Sargeant, Dennis, Marsh, Turley, Kyprianou, Alabi