It was a clash of the only two undefeated sides in the league at The CNG stadium as league leaders Harrogate Town took on ex-football league opposition in the form of Leyton Orient in a top of the table clash that a few years ago would’ve been a dream fixture for the Town faithful.
Unfortunately, it was Town who would lose their unbeaten status in the league as goals from Jobi McAnuff and Macauley Bonne meant that an efficient Orient side leapfrogged Town to the top of the Vanarama National League.
Town were causing the Orient defence a few issues in the opening ten minutes, Mark Beck who was starting his first game since the play off final victory looked like he was in for a battle against equally as tall Orient centre half Marvin Ekipiteta.
As the game progressed chances were limited for both sides, Callum Howe for Harrogate and Ekipiteta for Oreint showing their defensive qualities to squash any potential chances.
That was until the 23rd minute when the O’s Zimbabwe international Macaulay Bonne found himself through on goal, he then pulled off a lovely curling finish past James Belshaw to put the visitors 1-0 up at Wetherby road.
This wasn’t the first time that Harrogate have been behind in the league and they certainly didn’t seem fazed by it, Josh Falkingham had a good drive at goal which unfortunately hit an offside Dom Knowles.
In the 34th minute Callum Howe nearly grabbed his fifth goal of the season when a lofted in freekick from Belshaw picked out Howe in the box, who was inches away from finding the back of the net.
Town and Howe would go on to rue there missed chance as almost instantly Orient doubled their lead.
Belshaw struggled to contain Josh Koroma’s strike, who’s effort then fell to Jamaican international Jobi McAnuff who just had to tap in.
Simon Weaver's men refused to lay down before half time despite the two disadvantage, George Thomson swung in a lovely cross which found Liam Kitching, who guided his header towards goal but was cleared off the line by goal scorer Bonne.
Town nearly grabbed their first goal through another defensive outlet, Kevin Langmead pulled off a lovely header inside the box, but his effort was equalled by a brilliant save from Orient keeper and coach Dean Brill.
Harrogate picked up where they left off for the second half, Langmead who could’ve scored before half time flicked an effort towards goal after he was furthest forward following a long throw in from Jack Muldoon.
George Thomson then dragged an effort wide moments later as Town were continuing to knock at the door.
It wasn’t all Town though, Orient could’ve had their third in the 58th minute, after good work from Craig Clay freed Koroma but his effort was gathered well by Belshaw.
The inform Callum Howe yet again could’ve grabbed Town’s first goal of the afternoon, Howe met Thomson’s cross and had the O’s keeper in no man’s land but couldn’t guide his effort to the inside of the post.
Despite Town’s hard work, it would be Leyton Orient who grabbed the third goal of the afternoon.
After a pullback from Koroma picked out McAnuff who then curled in an almost unstoppable effort into the top corner.
After the third goal the game died down, a Town effort from Kerry who stuck the ball on the half volley went which wide of the post, was Harrogate’s best effort in the closing stages.
Report by Isaac Martin
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Falkingham, Howe, Burrell, Thomson, Beck (Williams 62), Knowles, Langmead, Kerry, Muldoon, Kitching
Subs not used: Parker, Cracknell, Agnew, Sutton
Leyton Orient: Brill, Judd, Coulson, Ekpiteta, Widdowson, Dayton, Clay (Gorman 89), Lee, McAnuff, Bonne (Harrold 91), Koroma (Alabi 75)
Subs not used: Sargeant, Happe
Goals: Bonne 23, McAnuff 36, 69
Booked: Dayton, Koroma, Judd
Referee: M Edwards