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Halifax striker Tom Denton gave Leyton Orient’s young centre-back pairing a lesson in strength as he made one and scored another in the visitors’ 3-0 win at Brisbane Road tonight.

The 28-year-old 6ft 7ins bludgeoner nodded on for Adam Morgan to open the scoring inside five minutes, and turned goalscorer when stunning a stagnant defence to head home a Town free-kick.

Orient had numerous chances to score themselves before half-time but the second belonged to Halifax, who added a third after Michael Clark hauled down Morgan inside the box.

Matthew Kosylo stepped up to send Charlie Grainger the wrong way, and condemn Orient to a shock home defeat - their first of the season.

Five changes followed Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Boreham Wood, with Jamie Sendles-White and Michael Clark given the nod in the heart of defence with George Elekobi and Josh Coulson both missing with injury.

James Dayton, who limped off during that poor performance at Meadow Park, was replaced by Romuald Boco, while Henry Ochieng and David Mooney were dropped to the bench with Craig Clay and Matt Harold promoted to the starting line-up.

Orient have been kept only one clean sheet at Brisbane Road this season and their new young centre-back pairing always faced a challenge up against the considerable frame of Town striker Denton.

And he showed them some non-league efficiency when his flick-on from a long ball on found Morgan, once named by no less than Robbie Fowler as the finest finisher he had ever seen.

He’ll have harder goals to score than the opener tonight, but still fired his first-time effort beyond Grainger and into the roof of the net with style.

Orient’s engine had barely spluttered into life by this point, but was nearly roaring within moments when Romuald Boco used some gleefully received space in the Halifax area to pick out Matt Harrold. The veteran striker beat goalkeeper Sam Johnson with his header, but also the far post with an effort which should have had the net rippling.

The same could be said when Boco went for goal himself after Jake Caprice’s shot was saved by Johnson, and he inexplicably cleared the bar from eight yards from the rebound.

Like a tiger stalking its pray, Orient were constantly looking for pounce and draw level, but repeatedly let Halifax out of their claws when it looked easier to strike.

Boco nodded wide and Bonne shot straight at Johnson as the first half threatened to turn into shooting practice for the O’s, but Halifax reminded the home crowd of their vulnerability at the back as Kosylo twisted and turned his way beyond Caprice, and would have doubled the lead had Clark not got back on the line to make a vital block.

But they did make it two when Denton was allowed a criminal amount of space to plant a free header from a free-kick beyond the motionless Grainger, who should have come off his line.

The rarity of the Halifax attacks was the only blessing for Orient - but even that wouldn’t last, as they ended the first half well on-top.

The young centre-back pairing agin showed their naivety to allow Morgan to bring down a bouncing ball and fire just beyond the post, while Denton forced Grainger into a full-length save from Kosylo’s cross.

You felt a goal before the break was a necessity for Orient, and when McAnuff struck a curling drive from 25 yards beyond Johnson, it looked destined for the top corner, but cannoned away off the bar and out of the area before an Orient player could reach the rebound.

They would have been worthy of getting back into the match, certainly, but Davies instead had to inspire his team to find two goals at the break with nothing to show for their efforts.

Instead, Halifax continued the second half where they ended the first, Scott Garner heading a free-kick beyond the post and Kosylo turning Clark before Grainger held his shot from 20 yards.

It took 20 minutes for Orient to forge a chance of note, when substitute Mooney beat Johnson in a 50-50 on the edge of the goalkeeper’s own area, and with a little more composure Bonne could have got them back in it.

But the young striker’s first-time shot struck the arm of Garner and cannoned behind for a corner, from which Mooney would have beaten Johnson had he not slipped as he shot at the far post.

He wasn’t far off again when played in by Caprice, skewing just wide of the near post from the edge of the area, but time was running out for the increasingly desperate hosts.

Halifax had reverted to soaking up pressure and looking to break, a tactic which again showed its worth with 18 minutes to play. Morgan, going away from goal in the box, was hauled down by Clark and referee Chris Pollard needed little thinking time before pointing to the spot.

Kosylo’s performance, which was deserving of a goal, was rewarded when he stepped up to send Grainger the wrong way from 12 yards and secure the three points for Halifax.

Mooney, who did well in the hole generally, fired over from 20 yards and would have been well-placed to fire a Caprice cross goalwards had Bonne not turned and fired over with it first, but the home fans were already heading for the exits by this point - and with good reason.

With the opportunity to top the league at the end of the night wasted, Orient now turn their attention to the BT Sport cameras and Hartlepool United’s visit on Saturday.

Leyton Orient: Grainger; Caprice, Sendles-White, Clark, Widdowson; Boco (Mooney 61), Clay, Lawless, McAnuff; Harrold (Koroma 86), Bonne.

Not used: Sargeant, Happe, Ochieng.

Halifax Town: Johnson; Wilde, Brown, Garner, McManus; Kosylo (Charles 89), Hotte, Oliver, MacDonald (Tomlinson 69); Morgan (Moyo 82), Denton.

Not used: Micholson, Lynch.

Attendance: 3,600