Hartlepool United were defeated on the road as top-of-the-table Leyton Orient ran out 4-2 winners at The Breyer Group Stadium.
In the third minute, Orient were awarded a penalty after Murray pulled Kelman back on the very edge of the box. Moncur stepped up and scored, despite Killip diving the right way.
After the goal, Orient continued to monopolise possession, with Pools playing on the counter. Umerah’s hold-up play released Hastie on the 20-minute mark, but the winger’s effort was dragged wide. At the other end, Kelman went close to a second for Orient after driving in from the left and getting a shot away, but Killip made a flying save to his left to keep the ball out.
Despite Orient having most of the possession, Pools were back on level term just after the half-hour mark. Hastie’s cross found McDonald at the far-post and he danced past two defenders before bagging the equaliser. The goal gave Pools confidence and a minute later Hastie went close with a curling effort.
As Pools pushed forwards, Orient took their chance to counter. Kelman exchanged passed with Archibald and slammed a strike beyond Killip to restore the home side’s lead.
Umerah continued to battle with the Orient back line, but Pools went into the break behind after being unable to find a second equaliser.
The nightmare start to the first half was repeated in the second as Smyth drove forwards and fired into an empty net after Killip made a good save initially. Umerah had a sight of goal after the ball found its way through, but it was curled high and wide.
Orient had most of the ball throughout the half, with hopeful crosses the closest Pools came to fashioning chances.
Crawford and Patterson entered the fray with 25 minutes to go, and the former’s first foray into the box saw him fouled. Umerah stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it beyond the ‘keeper to reduce arrears.
Smyth looked certain to score two minutes later, but Killip’s point-blank save denied the forward. The two-goal deficit was restored in the 74th minute, though, with substitute Sotiriou slamming a half-volley past Killip.
Sterry’s bending effort was as close as Pools came to another goal, and Paul Hartley’s side travel back for Tuesday evening’s clash with Harrogate Town still looking for their first win of the 2022/23 season.
Pools XI: Killip; Sterry, Murray, Lacey, Ferguson (Patterson 66); Shelton (Crawford 66), Featherstone, McDonald; Hastie, Umerah, Ndjoli (Hamilton 59)
Unused Subs: Letheren, Tumilty, Menayese, Niang
Attendance: 6,634 (249 Poolies)