A six-goal thriller at Brisbane Road allowed Orient to ease their relegation worries with a 4-2 win over Colchester whose play-off hopes took a dent.
The home side had enjoyed the better exchanges in the opening half, but it was not until four minutes before half-time that they broke the deadlock when diminutive midfielder Dean Cox jinked his way inside marker Lee Beevers and sent in a cross for Jimmy Smith to power home a header from 12 yards.
Smith then saw his shot cleared off the line by Beevers before the home side doubled their advantage four minutes into the second half when Alex Revell pounced to claim his 12th goal of the season by converting Matt Heath's intended back header.
The visitors were handed a lifeline when Orient goalkeeper Jamie Jones spilled a high ball, allowing Anthony Wordsworth to slam home from six yards, but the O's restored their two-goal lead soon after.
Substitute Paul-Jose Mpoku, who had only been on the field for three minutes, latched on to a through pass from Matt Spring and slammed the ball into the top corner from 15 yards.
But Colchester again hit back. Ian Henderson shrugged off two challenges during a 25-yard run to fire into the bottom corner before Jonathan Tehoue settled the home side's nerves with a shot that bounced over Williams to seal the points.
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