First half goals from Rob Smyth and George Moncur consigned Town to a 2-0 defeat this afternoon at the hands of league leaders Leyton Orient.
Smyth’s near post header handed the O’s an early advantage before Moncur’s spot kick doubled the lead midway through the first-half after Pete Jameson had brought down Smyth.
Town had efforts from Alex Pattison before the break and both Matty Daly and Danny Grant in the second-half but they couldn’t build upon the positive performance shown against Carlisle United.
Town welcomed back Pattison to the line-up after the midfielder missed the 3-3 draw with Carlisle United. Josh Austerfield dropped down to the bench.
The visitors made three changes to the side that fell to a surprise 2-0 defeat at Wimbledon. Out went Rui Sotiriou, Aaron Drinan and Tom James with George Moncur, Jordan Brown and Charlie Kelman coming into the line-up.
Tuesday’s goalscoring hero Jaheim Headley was involved in an advanced position early and he almost managed to thread a pass through to Jack Muldoon but the defence cut out the danger.
Leyton Orient countered almost immediately with a break of their own, with Rob Hunt finding space on the left hand side but his shot was deflected wide of the goal.
From the resulting corner though Smyth advanced to the near post to flick on past Pete Jameson off the post to grab an early lead.
Theo Archibald then tried his luck from distance but his effort was well wide.
Town’s first effort of note came on thirteen minutes when Daly saw his shot deflected wide after good initial work from Luke Armstrong.
Then good play from Town in and around the box resulted in the ball ricocheting to Luke Armstrong who reacted well to divert the ball goalbound but Lawrence Vigouroux did well to be at full stretch to collect the ball.
Pattison and Grant combined well on the edge of the area but neither could find a way past a resolute defence that had conceded just 11 times so far coming into the game.
Town’s task was made harder midway through the first half when Jameson brought down Smyth to had Leyton Orient a golden opportunity. George Moncur stepped up to send Jameson the wrong way.
The Town keeper then raced off his line to prevent a Charlie Kelman opportunity that could have seen the game all but done and dusted.
Town’s best opportunity of the opening forty-five minutes came when Pattison curled an effort from range that Vigouroux tipped to safety.
The second half opened with Jaheim Headley immediately going into the book for pulling back Archibald.
An early spell of pressure from the visitors resulted in Jordan Brown flashing a shot across the Town goal that shaved the outside of Jameson’s post.
Town almost pulled one back ten minutes into the second-half,. Strong and persistent play from Kayne Ramsey down the right saw hm deliver a cross that resulted in both Grant and Matty Daly firing shots at goal that Vigouroux did well to get firmly behind.
Kelman then got in behind the Town defence on the hour mark but his effort lacked power and Jameson comfortably dealt with the shot.
Warren Burrell then went close for Town when he almost reprised Tuesday’s goal when he met Grant’s corner at the near post. This time, however, he couldn’t direct the effort on goal and Vigouroux could watch the ball sail well over.
The impressive Brown and Smyth both then had efforts at goal that failed to test Jameson, but with twenty minutes now remaining time was beginning to run out for Town’s hopes of taking something from the game.
The visitors made their first change on seventy-two minutes that saw Kelman replaced by Drinan. Simon Weaver made an immediate change with Muldoon withdrawn for Sam Folarin with Jayden Sweeney also replacing Hunt at the same time for Leyton Orient.
The moves had the intended effect of breaking up the pattern of the game and it was the O’s who looked likeliest to add a further goal with Archibald again going close in the final minutes.
TOWN: Jameson, Ramsay, Burrell, Mattock, Headley, Falkingham (Austerfield, 80), Pattison, Daly, Muldoon (Folarin, 73), Grant, Armstrong.
Substitutes: Giles, Welch-Hayes, Frost, Coley.
Booked: Headley (46), Austerfield (85)
Leyton Orient: Vigouroux, Happe, Smyth (Duke-McKenna, 87), Archibald, Brown, Moncur, El-Mizouni, Pratley, Beckles, Kelman (Drinan, 72), Hunt (Sweeney, 75).
Substitutes: Sargeant, Ogie, Wareham.
Goals: Smyth (8), Moncur, pen (24)
Referee: Benjamin Speedie