Leyton Orient’s playoff hopes look unlikely increasingly unlikely after a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Cambridge United.

The Os had kept those hopes alive at the weekend with a 2-0 win over Barrow, but their midweek loss leaves them four points outside the top seven, having played a game more than their close rivals.

Their interim head coach Jobi McAnuff said after the Cambridge defeat: “We started well and despite conceding we came back into it and I felt we were worthy of being level at half-time – but again it’s poor goals.

“It’s not magical what they have come up with and it really was a case of us shooting ourselves in the foot and you cannot get away from the errors we made.

“The reasons these teams are up there is because they take their chances when presented to them and unfortunately for us we got punished.

“I won’t focus too much on the referee’s performance as that wasn’t the reason we lost the game.”

Two goals from Joe Ironside contributed to the defeat, with Shilow Tracey and Paul Mullin also on target. while the Orient replied through Dan Kemp and a Declan Drysdale own goal.

Ironside put Cambridge in front on 19 minutes when he stabbed home a Jack Iredale cross but the home side levelled in the first minute of first-half added time when Kemp fired a shot into the top corner.

The Us restored their lead on 64 minutes when Tracey headed home from six yards and five minutes later, Mullin notched his 29th league goal from the penalty spot following a foul by Jamie Turley on Greg Taylor.

Orient reduced the deficit on 72 minutes after Conor Wilkinson headed against the woodwork and the ball bounced off Drysdale into the net.

But Ironside restored the two-goal cushion from close range on 80 minutes with his 14th league goal of the season.