Goals from Jordan Maguire-Drew and Danny Johnson saw Leyton Orient do the double over Cambridge United this season as the O’s held on to win 2-1 in East London.

Maguire-Drew and Johnson struck in a comfortable first-half for the O’s before Paul Mullin’s goal midway through the second half made it a nervy ending for the home faithful.

Josh Wright and Conor Wilkinson dropped out of the squad due to injury and were replaced in the line-up by Ruel Sotiriou and James Dayton.

Jobi McAnuff returned to the bench for the O’s, as did Sam Ling and Louis Dennis, while there was no goalkeeper due to Sargeant’s injury and Arthur Janata being out on loan.

Orient started on the front foot and had the first effort of the game after six minutes when Johnson turned in the area, but his poked effort ended up wide of the near post.

Both Maguire-Drew and Ruel Sotiriou had further chances to break the deadlock, but the former’s shot was blocked and Sotiriou had his powerful drive caught at the second attempt by Callum Burton.

It took less than 20 minutes, though, for Orient to find the net. Craig Clay broke away and fed Maguire-Drew on the right, and he lashed an effort across Burton into the bottom corner.

Embleton’s side continued to have the better of the play but it was Cambridge who came the closest to the next goal. Orient had the woodwork to thank as Mullin got his head to Harrison Dunk’s free-kick but saw his effort bounce off the base of the post.

The second goal instead went the way of the home side. James Brophy cut in from the left and found James Dayton on the edge of the area. His shot was saved by Burton but fell straight into the path of Johnson, who tapped home on the cusp of half-time.

Cambridge improved after the break and started to limit the number of chances the home side were having, although Orient should have grabbed a third through Johnson, but he was denied by Burton’s point-blank save.

That miss proved to be costly for Orient, as not long after they struggled to clear a delivery into the area, and Mullin broke away from two defenders before firing home off the far post from a tight angle to reduce the arrears.

With the U’s back in the game, Orient needed a kick and they turned to captain McAnuff to provide it as he came on for his first appearance of the season in place of Dayton.

He had a good effect too, sending in some teasing deliveries that his teammates were unable to capitalise on.

The skipper even had a stinging drive flying towards the bottom corner kept out by Burton, denying him what would have been a dream goal on his return from injury.

Cambridge almost completed the comeback inside stoppage time as substitute Jack Roles sent an effort flying towards the top corner, but Vigouroux reacted quickly to tip over the bar.

That proved to be the last scare they had to survive, and the O’s held on to take all three points.

Next up for Embleton’s men is a trip to Bradford City in a week’s time.


Orient line-up: Vigouroux, Coulson, Clay, Maguire-Drew, Dayton, Happe, Brophy, Sotiriou, Marsh, Cisse, Johnson

Subs: Ling, Widdowson, McAnuff, Dennis, Harrold, Angol, Kyprianou