Leyton Orient conceded late on to lose 2-1 away at League Two play-off hopefuls Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

The O’s led through Conor Wilkinson’s freak goal after 17 minutes but conceded straight from the restart through Alfie May.

Orient held their own until the final minutes when Reuben Reid’s header secured all three points for the hosts.

Ross Embleton named an unchanged side to the one that had beaten Mansfield Town in their previous game, with no changes made to the substitutes bench either.

After a slow start, it was Cheltenham who mustered the first real chance of the game when a floated cross from Cameron Hussey was misjudged by Dan Happe, but luckily for him, May’s volley flew just wide of the post.

Instead, it was Orient who took the lead in bizarre fashion when Lawrence Vigouroux’s long goal kick was played back to Robins stopper Owen Evans, but his mis-hit clearance cannoned back off the legs of Wilkinson and rolled into the net.

Less than a minute later and straight from kick-off though, Cheltenham pulled themselves level as Luke Varney’s shot from distance took a deflection and looped into the path of May, and he brought it down well before firing across Vigouroux into the bottom corner.

Chances were coming for both sides and the O’s could have gone back ahead when Craig Clay fired narrowly over the top from the edge of the box, but the visitors were also indebted to their keeper as he made an excellent one-v-one save against May after the striker had latched onto Happe’s poor back-pass.

Cheltenham began to turn the pressure up towards the end of the half and May nearly turned provider when he slipped the ball in for Ryan Broom, but Vigouroux was quick off his line to stop him.

The elements were against Orient in the second half as the wind and the rain came straight at them, but they coped well with an early onslaught from the hosts, with Vigouroux’s save at the second attempt from Chris Clements the only real danger.

A double change saw Joe Widdowson and Jordan Maguire-Drew enter the game for Lee Angol and James Dayton respectively, with the extra defender likely a signal that the visitors were content with taking a point.

They seemed like they were going to do that too, as Cheltenham were continually being frustrated offensively. May was off target again as he dragged a shot wide of the target and George Marsh was on hand to cut out a through ball towards Tom Nicolls.

The point was to evade the O’s though, as with two minutes of normal time remaining, Broom’s dangerous cross from the right was met by Reid who powered a header low into the middle of the goal.

Embleton’s side were unable to fashion any further opportunities to secure a late equaliser, thus losing for the first time this month.

Defeat sees Orient remain 17th in the table, a point ahead of Oldham Athletic and two behind Newport County.

Next up for the O’s is the visit of Oldham, who have won just two of their last 11 games, to the Breyer Group Stadium this Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.