A late strike from Moses Odubajo inflicted upon Colchester United a third successive defeat after they were beaten 2-1 by leaders Leyton Orient.

But the U’s were desperately unlucky to lose an entertaining encounter at Brisbane Road, in front of nearly 800 travelling supporters.

Colchester came into the match having claimed only one point in their previous four games but they played their part in a pulsating encounter and made a bright start to the contest.

Freddie Sears’ shot from 25 yards flew straight at the keeper after a patient build-up by the U’s, who looked effective as an attacking force throughout.

But Orient warmed to the task as the first half went on and went ahead in the 21st minute.

David Mooney, one of four former Colchester players included in the home side’s starting line-up, blasted emphatically into the roof of the net from 12 yards after Colchester had failed to deal with Scott Cuthbert’s delivery into the area.

The U’s responded well to the setback and Gavin Massey, one of two players recalled by Joe Dunne along with Craig Eastmond, dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area after Dominic Vose had picked him out.

But Mooney and fellow former U’s striker Kevin Lisbie looked effective in attack for Orient.

And U’s goalkeeper Sam Walker had to be at his best in order to push Lisbie’s low shot around his near post, just after the half hour.

Colchester started the second half well though and they were very close to equalising less than a minute after the restart.

Jakupovic twice denied Massey in quick succession, with the U’s forward eventually firing a third attempt into the side netting.

Colchester boss Joe Dunne sent on Marcus Bean and Macauley Bonne in an attempt to get his side back into the game and Sears’ half volley dropped kindly for Jakupovic, as the clock ticked down.

The U’s finally got the equaliser they deserved when Bean rose to head home Ryan Dickson’s deep cross.

But Odubajo finished low past Walker after latching onto substitute Shaun Batt’s drilled pass to score Orient’s winner and break U’s hearts.

For a full match report, pictures and reaction to Colchester’s game at Leyton Orient, see Monday’s Daily Gazette.