Josh Coulson’s double helped Leyton Orient consolidate their position back at the top of the National League with a 2-1 away win at Aldershot Town last night.

The centre-back converted identical goals within three minutes of each other, heading in from James Brophy corners on both occasions, before a second-half penalty from Scott Rendell made things interesting in the final minutes.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes to the side that beat Wrexham at the weekend, restoring Coulson to the backline while also bringing in Matt Harrold for Jay Simpson, who is suffering from a slight hamstring problem.

The O’s were also forced into an early change as Jordan Maguire-Drew went to ground after only three minutes, and he was replaced by Brophy.

The visitors were keen to take advantage of the weather, and after 10 minutes a long goal kick from Dean Brill was caught by the wind and blown into the path of Macauley Bonne, but the forward fired just wide.

Brill was then called into action at the other end to beat away Rollin Mensah’s header at the back post following a deep cross from John Goddard, and he needed to be alert soon after to once again deny Mensah, this time at point blank range.

Within a minute of that opportunity for the hosts, the O’s took the lead as Coulson rose highest to meet Brophy’s corner and hand the away side the advantage.

That was an advantage they doubled three minutes later as another Brophy corner, from the same side as previously, was once again met by Coulson who powered into the net for his second.

The Shots created the first chance of the second period as former O George Elokobi’s long ball forward found Adam McDonnell, but his shot flashed across the face of goal.

Four minutes later, Orient were denied the opportunity to kill the game off as Jake Cole produced an excellent save to deny Harrold.

The hosts were then handed a lifeline in the game as Marvin Ekpiteta brought down Rendell in the box and he slammed home the penalty to make it a nervy ending for Orient.

The final moments passed with little to ultimately worry about though, and the O’s were also able to welcome James Dayton back from three months out injured as he replaced Harrold for the final 10 minutes.

It’s a win that keeps Edinburgh’s men at the top of the table, four points ahead of Wrexham with a game in hand, who are replaced in second by Solihull Moors, who the O’s lead by three points.

Orient now take a break from league action as they prepare for their two-legged FA Trophy semi-final with AFC Telford United – the home leg takes place this Saturday before the trip to New Bucks Head on Saturday, March 23.

Orient team: Brill; Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Clay, McAnuff, Maguire-Drew (Brophy 5’); Harrold (Dayton 80’), Bonne

Subs: Sargeant, Gorman, Turley