Josh Wright scored the only goal of the game as Leyton Orient secured a 1-0 win over nine-man Cheltenham Town on their return to the Football League.

Wright, who was the last signing of former head coach Justin Edinburgh, struck in the 65th minute to send the ground wild on an emotional day for the club, who were playing their first competitive game since Edinburgh’s death back in June.

The strike was followed by emotional scenes in front of the main stand as the goalscorer held aloft an O’s shirt displaying Edinburgh’s name and his old Tottenham Hotspur squad number, three.

Joe Widdowson missed out with a groin injury, meaning James Brophy came into the side on the left-hand side of defence, and there were also league debuts for the new strikeforce of Lee Angol and Conor Wilkinson, with Louis Dennis on the bench two days after arriving from Portsmouth.

Orient were given a scare early on when Dean Brill came racing out of his goal towards Luke Varney who went down, but the referee decided in the hosts’ favour and booked Varney for simulation.

Brill, who missed all but one pre-season game through injury, then had a recurrence of that problem after only 10 minutes and was substituted for Sam Sargeant.

Orient’s first real chance of the half came shortly after when Jordan Maguire-Drew cut inside from the right, but he curled narrowly over the bar.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between and it wasn’t until the brink of half-time that Ross Embleton’s side threatened again. Wilkinson and Angol linked up well and the latter powered a shot into the net, but the linesman flagged for offside.

A slow start to the second period suddenly livened up shortly after the hour mark when Wright opened Orient’s account back in the Football League. Wilkinson had an effort in the box blocked, but the former Gillingham man got to the ball first to squeeze it underneath Scott Flinders.

Two minutes of madness for Cheltenham then ensued as they went down to 10 men through Varney’s second booking, and midfielder Rohan Ince was given his marching orders almost immediately after to leave the Robins battling with nine men.

Josh Coulson was the next to test Flinders in his first game as the new team captain, but he was left as perplexed as anybody in the ground as his downward header was somehow tipped onto the bar by the Cheltenham stopper to keep the scores down.

Flinders was at it again just as the length of stoppage time was announced, denying Angol on the line with a point-blank save.

Another goal wasn’t needed though, and Orient held on to their single goal for the win.

The success marks a winning return to the level for Orient and puts points on the board ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Macclesfield Town.

Orient Line-up: Brill, Ling, Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe, Clay, Wright, Brophy, Maguire-Drew, Angol, Wilkinson

Subs: Sargeant, Gorman, Judd, Dennis, Harrold, Sotiriou, Alabi