Leyton Orient kept pace with the top two in the National League after a 2-1 victory away at Havant & Waterlooville.

Jordan Maguire-Drew provided a stunning opening goal before Alfie Rutherford’s strike from the edge of the area drew parity. However, Josh Coulson grabbed the winner with 17 minutes remaining.

Justin Edinburgh made three personnel changes to the side that beat Brackley Town in the FA Trophy last week, with Maguire-Drew and Coulson coming into start having initially been on the bench against the Saints, and Joe Widdowson also came into the team.

Orient lined up in a new shape, with Widdowson and Sam Ling playing as wing-backs, and it was on the left side with Widdowson where the visitors looked particularly dangerous early on, after he had a stinging shot palmed away by Ben Dudzinski.

The Havant keeper then saved from Ling when he collected the ball at the far post before Maguire-Drew raced through and whipped the ball just wide of the post.

Shortly before the break, the O’s took the lead in spectacular fashion when Macauley Bonne touched down a throw-in on the right-hand side and, from 30 yards, Maguire-Drew looped a volley over Dudzinski which nestled in the bottom corner.

The away side began the second half just as well as they had the first, with Bonne and Jay Simpson linking up well on the edge of the area before the former saw his effort saved, and Marvin Ekpiteta’s sliced half-volley skimmed the crossbar before landing on the roof of the net.

Against the run of play, though, Havant equalised when Rutherford provided the game’s second exquisite goal, crashing a volley past Dean Brill from just inside the area after his initial shot had been blocked by Coulson.

Maguire-Drew came close to restoring the lead for the O’s when he advanced forward and smacked the crossbar but, just a few minutes later, Coulson got his head to Ling’s long throw and looped into the far corner to restore the lead.

Havant threw more men forward late on as they hunted for an equaliser, but Orient stood firm and held on for three points that keeps them well in the promotion hunt.

Edinburgh’s side could move up to second tomorrow night when they make the long trip to Barrow – a win would see them go above Solihull Moors on goal difference. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Orient team: Brill; Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Clay, McAnuff, Maguire-Drew (Lee 84); Bonne, Simpson (Harrold 75)

Subs: Sargeant, Brophy, Turley