Marvin Ekpiteta’s fifth goal of the season was enough to move Leyton Orient back to the top of the National League after they beat leaders Wrexham 1-0 at the Breyer Group Stadium.

Ekpiteta scored the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute when the Dragons failed to deal with a ball into the box, and the defender, recently called up to the England C team, lashed the ball back in at the near post.

Justin Edinburgh made just one change to the side that won away at Barrow in midweek, with Jamie Turley being restored to the side in place of Josh Coulson, who was among the substitutes.

The O’s had the first opportunity of the game inside a minute after good play down the left from Jordan Maguire-Drew and Joe Widdowson resulted in a corner, and after Turley missed his header from the delivery, Craig Clay fired agonisingly wide of the post.

The home side continued to look threatening in the early stages, but Wrexham looked capable of causing problems on the counter, and Ben Tollitt drew a foul from Marvin Ekpiteta that saw the defender booked after only seven minutes.

Tollitt then caused Ekpiteta further problems two minutes later, outmuscling the centre-back as he got in behind the defence, but his shot flashed just wide of the far post.

Orient responded with chances of their own and came mightily close on 23 minutes when Jay Simpson picked out Maguire-Drew after some good footwork down the right, but the number 10’s first-time volley flew just over the bar.

The second half started in a fairly cagey manner, with neither side wanting to concede too many opportunities, but it was Orient who were having the better of the chances.

The introduction of James Brophy for Sam Ling provided some fresh legs on the wing, and Brophy almost turned provider twice with surging runs and dangerous deliveries, but the visiting defence stood firm and cleared their lines.

Bonne also had a chance shortly after, getting his head to Widdowson’s delicate cross but he flicked it wide of the far post.

The breakthrough finally came on the 72nd minute though. Wrexham failed to deal with a ball into the area and could only clear as far as Ekpiteta who, first-time and on the half-volley, lashed the ball back in and it beat Rob Lainton at the near post.

Wrexham pushed towards the end of the game but the centre-back trio of Ekpiteta, Jamie Turley and Dan Happe looked unbeatable all afternoon, frustrating the visiting front line, and Dean Brill had to be alert late on to beat away Cole Stockton’s powerful effort.

The O’s continued to be strong and there was a rapturous roar around the ground when the whistle went, sealing their position back at the top of the league.

Orient team: Brill; Ling, Ekpiteta, Hurley, Happe, Widdowson; McAnuff, Clay, Maguire-Drew; Bonne, Simpson

Subs: Sargeant, Coulson, Brophy, Gorman, Harrold