The O's scored twice in the opening 13 minutes to take a firm grip on the game against a beleaguered Plymouth side in administration and forced to name two untried youngsters on the bench.
Victory was far more comfortable than the final scoreline indicates as the home side controlled the match from the first whistle, seldom allowing the visitors a semblance of hope of clawing their way back into the match The game was just four minutes old when midfielder Dean Cox delivered a deep cross which Jimmy Smith headed into the path of Scott McGleish, who in turn headed home from 10 yards for his 17th goal of the season.
Cox turned from architect to scorer nine minutes later when Alex Revell left the Argyle defence trailing before picking the midfielder out on the left, who smashed the ball home through the legs of keeper David Button.
Revell, who had missed a sitter after 10 minutes when he headed wide from 10 yards with the goal at his mercy, suffered further misfortune when he stretched for a ball and fell awkwardly in a heap before being stretchered off seven minutes before the interval.
The second half was a scrappy affair although the O's had a penalty appeal rejected when Stephen Dawson went down in the area under a challenge, while the best the Pilgrims could muster was a header from Rory Fallon which Orient keeper Jamie Jones saved on the line.
Leyton Orient 2-0 Plymouth: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.