Leyton Orient went back to the top of the National League courtesy of a thrilling 3-2 win over play-off contenders Eastleigh.

James Brophy struck the winner midway through the second half after Macauley Bonne had pulled the O’s level at 2-2 moments before.

The Spitfires had initially taken a 2-1 lead into the break thanks to two goals from former O Paul McCallum either side of Josh Koroma’s strike.

Justin Edinburgh made two changes to the side that rescued a point against Halifax on Wednesday, restoring Marvin Ekpiteta to the team after his suspension and Sam Ling after his injury in place of Jay Simpson and Charlie Lee.

A fairly even start saw Orient muster the first attack as Brophy broke down the right and send a cross in which was missed by everybody, but only three minutes later Eastleigh struck the first blow when, from what looked to be just a hopeful swing into the area, former Orient striker McCallum rose the highest to loop a header over Dean Brill.

The hosts sought an immediate response and after another Brophy delivery went astray, it was left to a long throw to provide the assist, going all the way through to Koroma via a flick-on, and he poked beyond Luke Southwood.

Orient maintained this pressure in the next spell of the game and Koroma was presented with another couple of opportunities, firstly firing wide from a snapshot after doing well to hold the ball up in the box and then having his cross deflected away after latching onto Bonne’s header.

Against the run of play though, the Spitfires regained the lead when another cross was swung in, this time by Michael Green from the left, and McCallum was on hand again to head past Brill.

The O’s hunt for an equaliser was not bearing any results – the closest they came was when Brophy drew a foul on the edge of the area and the resulting free-kick from Koroma was parried away at the bottom corner by Southwood.

The hosts initially started the second half as they had ended the first, but found a renewed confidence after they settled into it and they levelled the scores on 56 minutes when Craig Clay led the charge from the back and found Brophy. He then played wide to Widdowson to deliver a low ball into Bonne, and the striker turned and fired into the bottom corner.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Orient came forward again and looked far more energetic, resulting in them taking the lead for the first time of the evening when substitute James Dayton backheeled into Ling, and he cut back from the byline for Brophy to slam home from close range.

Although the chances became less clear-cut after taking the advantage, the O’s still posed the most threat going forward and their only real moment of panic in the second half came when Brill prevented Josh Coulson from turning into his own net from a Green cross.

The rest of the game passed with little incident in terms of chances, and the points see the O's climb back above Salford City to the top of the National Leauge prior to Saturday's trip to Sutton United.

Orient team: Brill; Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Widdowson; Clay, Lawless, Brophy; Koroma, Bonne

Subs: Sargeant, Maguire-Drew- Dayton, Harrold, Simpson

Attendance: 5,203 (159 away)