Two Paul McCallum headers gave Eastleigh a half-time lead on his return to Leyton Orient- but the Spitfires suffered a fourth defeat in five games.

Having led 2-0 at AFC Fylde only to lose 4-2 on Saturday, Eastleigh failed to capitalise on another lead against one of their promotion rivals.

They remain seventh, in the final play-off place, a point clear of Ebbsfleet, with all National League teams having played 42 of their 46 matches.

Fellow play-off hopefully Gateshead, who visit the Silverlake on Saturday, lost 1-0 at home to fourth-placed Fylde last night, while Orient now lead the division in the only automatic promotion spot.

McCallum gave the visitors a sixth-minute lead in front of a Brisbane Road crowd of 5,203 (including 159 away fans) when, under pressure from two defenders, he sent a looping header over goalkeeper Dean Brill following an excellent Josh Hare cross.

Orient equalised four minutes later, Josh Koroma finding the net after a long throw.

But in the 21st minute Joey Jones laid the ball off to Michael Green, whose cross was headed in by McCallum.

Goalkeeper Luke Southwood ensured Eastleigh still led 2-1 at half-time by keeping out a powerful free kick from Koroma.

But Orient levelled through striker Macauley Bonne in the 56th minute. The forward’s turn and finish concluded a counter-attack that began with Brill throwing the ball out to Craig Clay. The midfielder found Koroma, whose pass to Joe Widdowson was followed by the cross for Bonne.

Five minutes later, James Brophy gave the home side the lead.

Brilliant build-up play between the outstanding Sam Ling and James Dayton ended with the former setting up a tap-in.

Eastleigh tried in vain to summon an equaliser.

Another terrific cross from Hare found Ben Williamson, whose lay-off to Green was put narrowly wide by the left-back.

Green then sent in a tantalising cross of his own from the left flank, but it was deflected into Brill’s hands.

With the chance to score his hat-trick, McCallum headed over a cross from substitute Mark Yeates in the 85th minute.

EASTLEIGH: Southwood, Hare, Jones, Boyce, Hobson, Green, McKnight (Gobern 73), Miley (Yeates 82), Matthews, McCallum, Williamson (Zebroski 82).

Unused subs: Flitney, Dennett.

Booked: Jones, Zebrowski.