Harrogate Town were knocked off the top of the National League after suffering a first defeat in 12 games yesterday.
In what was a showdown between the division’s only two unbeaten sides, Simon Weaver’s men failed to take their chances, while visiting Leyton Orient showed a clinical edge on their way to a 3-0 success at the CNG Stadium.
The O’s seized a 23rd-minute lead when Charlie Lee sent Macaulay Bonne through on goal and the Zimbabwe international curled past James Belshaw.
Callum Howe came close to drawing Town level, but the visitors doubled their advantage nine minutes before the interval, Jobi McAnuff left with a tap-in after Belshaw failed to hold Josh Koroma’s strike.
Liam Kitching then saw a header cleared from the line, Kelvin Langmead was denied by a fine Dean Brill save and George Thomson shot wide as Weaver’s team pressed for a way back into the game.
Howe went closer still, nodding just the wrong side of the post after Brill got caught under Thomson’s cross, but it was to be Orient who grabbed the all-important next goal.
With 69 minutes on the clock, Koroma pulled back for McAnuff to pick out the top corner and the contest was over, the Londoners leapfrogging their hosts into pole position.
Elsewhere, referee Daniel Middleton sent-off Matty Brown and Matty Kosylo as nine-man FC Halifax Town lost 2-1 at home to Hartlepool.
Hartlepool had been the better side in the first half, but Town’s two red cards in four minutes helped consign The Shaymen to their first home defeat of the season thanks to goals from Liam Noble and Nicky Featherstone.
Jacob Hanson raised late hopes of what would have been a thrilling comeback with a late goal but it was not to be for Halifax.
Tadcaster Albion got the better of Yorkshire rivals Pontefract Collieries, as they emerged 2-1 winners in a fiery contest at the Harratt Nissan Stadium in Evo-Stik League Division One East, writes THOMAS RITCHIE.
Lamin Colley’s first goal for the club handed Tadcaster the advantage, before the hosts’ captain Jamie Williams was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick succession.
The visitors then doubled their lead as Aiden Savory volleyed home superbly, before just a minute later Michael Dunn pulled one back for Pontefract.
Dunn was then sent off late on, as the hosts finished with nine men, and were unable to snatch a point.
Elsewhere, Ossett United missed the chance to move joint top of the league as were held to a 1-1 draw by Spalding United. Adam Priestley struck early on for Ossett, however the visitors were awarded a penalty three minutes into the second-half, which was converted by Leon Mettam.
Iwan Heeley’s second-half strike earned fourth-placed Brighouse Town a 1-1 draw at Wisbech Town, after Alex Beck had given the hosts a first-half lead.
In the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, two goals from Bradley Dockerty helped leaders Hemsworth MW defeat local rivals Liversedge 4-3.
Richard Collier and Seon Ripley also netted for Hemsworth while Joe Walton (2) and Mitchell Hamilton replied for Liversedge.
Garforth Town moved up to ninth place with a 3-0 home victory over Penistone Church.
Mark Simpson, Devonte Newman-Morton and Niah Payne scored the Town goals.
Harrogate Railway moved off the bottom of the league after their 1-1 draw with Bridlington Town. Marcus Day scored the Railway goal on 50 minutes.
Second-placed Nostell Miners Welfare kept pace with leaders Winterton Rangers in Division thanks to a 3-0 victory at Worsbrough Bridge.
Elsewhere, a Ruben Jerome’s hat-trick helped Selby Town to a 3-1 home win over Swallownest, and Glasshoughton Welfare lost 2-0 at Winterton.