Goals from Ryan Loft and Alfie Beestin helped Scunthorpe continue their climb away from the bottom end of the Sky Bet League Two table.
But for Iron boss Neil Cox, it was goalkeeper Mark Howard who provided the spark for his side’s first home victory since September.
The experienced stopper saved a penalty from Leyton Orient striker Danny Johnson in the seventh minute – after Loft had been harshly penalised for handball – in what Cox said was the moment that sparked the improving Iron into action.
“We didn’t get off to a great start – I thought we looked a bit leggy – but after the penalty save I thought we were the better side,” he said.
“It could have gone either way, but Mark made the save, we livened ourselves up a bit and we were strong from that point on.
“In the second half I thought we were the better side, even though we didn’t have much of the ball.
“We tried to counter, which some people might see as negative, but we need to get some points on the board.
“You always like to get a second goal so to see Beest slot one in with a little bit of calmness made it a fantastic win for us.
“I thought it was a great team performance to follow on from another great performance on Tuesday night. Everybody put in a shift.”
As well as his penalty stop, Howard flicked away a dipping shot out of nothing from Conor Wilkinson as Orient started strongly, and when beaten by Ousseynou Cisse’s strike during a period of strong visiting pressure, the foot of a post came to the Iron keeper’s rescue.
Yet for all the O’s dominance, it was Scunthorpe who took the lead when Loft got in front of his marker to head home Mason O’Malley’s inviting cross in the 28th minute.
Although coming against the run of play, the way the Iron sat tight and frustrated their visitors made them worthy of their lead.
The second half followed much the same story, with Orient becoming more and more frustrated as half chances came, and went.
Wilkinson flashed an effort across the face of goal from a tight angle and Howard denied substitute Ruel Sotiriou when he found room to fire goalwards from just inside the box.
Just when it looked like Scunthorpe might be in for a nervy final 10 minutes, Beestin found space to pick his spot and fire into the bottom corner through a crowded penalty area.
While it might have been harsh on the O’s – who had arrived at the Sands Venue Stadium on the back of three successive wins – it was a sign of what League Two is about this term according to their boss Ross Embleton.
He said: “It’s moments like the penalty and hitting the post that if we’re really going to kick on, and be in and around where we want to be, we’ve got to be more ruthless.
“We lost our focus after the first goal – both goals were extremely disappointing ones to concede – and the biggest disappointment for me is we didn’t show the desire or attitude to kick on and put a team like this to the sword.
“Our reaction to poor decisions from the referee and things not going our way has to be better.
“For the first 20 minutes we performed to the level we know we can and we had a little spell early in the second half too, but when it’s not on our terms, we have to show that little bit more discipline.
“We can’t be a win four, lose a couple, draw three team. I want more from my team and for us as a club.
“We’re not going to play well every week, at times we’re going to have to be dogged.
“We’ll not get too down. We know what we’re capable of. Yes we’re disappointed with today, but we’ll refocus and be ready to go again on Tuesday.”
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