Ross Embleton’s first game back in interim charge of Leyton Orient ended in defeat as Scunthorpe United scored a goal in each half to run out 2-0 winners at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Embleton took charge of the side once again after Carl Fletcher’s dismissal on Thursday less than a month into his tenure, but the poor run of results that had ensued under the former Plymouth Argyle boss continued as Alex Gilliead and Lee Novak secured the points for the Irons.

Orient made two changes from the side that suffered a shock FA Cup defeat to Maldon & Tiptree as Dean Brill replaced Sam Sargeant in goal and Marvin Ekpiteta returned to the side in place of the injured Joe Widdowson. Dan Happe shifted over to left-back as a result.

A positive start from Scunthorpe was rewarded inside the first five minutes. Gilliead got down the right and saw his cross sliced over the crossbar by Josh Coulson, but from the resulting corner Orient failed to clear, and Gilliead fired into the top corner from the edge of the area after the ball had come down to him.

Louis Dennis had a good chance to level proceedings 12 minutes later after a good passing move from the hosts. He received the ball midway between the halfway line and the box before bursting into space, but his left-footed effort went over the bar and left Jake Eastwood in the Irons goal untroubled.

Orient had further chances to draw level shortly after. Eastwood denied Craig Clay at point-blank range and was then alert to punch away Jordan Maguire-Drew’s cross. Happe then worked his way into the area after Orient had recycled the ball, but his powerful drive was well blocked by Matthew Lund.

James Brophy had Orient’s final good chance of the half when the ball rebounded back to him after his shot was blocked, but his drive was palmed away by Eastwood. Scunthorpe broke away from that chance with pace, but Sam Ling got in front of Abo Eisa to divert the cross away for a corner.

Orient had the ball in the net within a minute of the restart when Wright headed home, but the offside flag had been raised long before it had crossed the line.

Kevin van Veen was proving to be a dangerous outlet for the visitors, first curling an effort over the bar from outside the box and then being denied by an excellent Coulson tackle having been played in by Lee Novak.

Orient were failing to create many clear-cut chances in a bid to get back into the game. Clay dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area and Dennis saw his weak effort saved by the legs of Eastwood after good work from Brophy.

Substitute James Alabi then had the ball in the net again, but as had happened previously, the official was quick to raise his flag and rule the goal out.

The O’s were then made to rue those missed chances as, with just 10 minutes to go, Novak got in down the right-hand side and fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner past Brill.

Defeat sees Orient drop to 17th in League Two, with Scunthorpe now just two points behind.

Next up for Embleton’s side is another home game next Saturday against league leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Orient line-up: Brill; Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe; Maguire-Drew, Clay, Wright, Brophy; Harrold, Dennis

Subs: Sargeant, Gorman, Angol, Marsh, Turley, Ogie, Alabi