© Nottingham Forest 1998
If Nottingham Forest needed an injection of confidence after consecutive Premiership defeats, then they got it in East London last night.
Early League Cup ties can come with a threat of danger attached, as Forest found out to their cost at Walsall last season.
But after turning Orient over by a four-goal margin, they will approach next week's second leg at the City Ground with a place in the next round already assured.
Goals from Andy Johnson, Dougie Freedman (2), Steve Stone and Marlon Harewood gave Forest as easy a victory as there will be in this competition this season. It was a one-sided contest from the off.
Dave Bassett was scouting for a new centre-forward in Europe, but he picked a full-strength team before he went and Orient suffered immediately as they conceded three goals in the opening 17 minutes.
"Micky Adams told us beforehand to make sure we started brightly and did not give Orient a chance to get into the game," said Freedman. "The trouble with these matches starts when you let the home team get going and you let the crowd get behind them. That didn't happen last night and all the pressure was off us after 15 minutes. We sat back in the second half and let them come at us, but we were still dangerous on the break."
With the game beginning to the sound of an Orient tambourine, there was something of a festival atmosphere early on, but for the home supporters the party lasted only four minutes, when Andy Johnson headed Forest in front from a Stone corner.
Fine header though it was, he will have been pleased to find himself unmarked as, no doubt, was Freedman as he scored his first competitive goals for his new club while similarly unattended soon after.
Freedman's first was a downward header from a super Des Lyttle cross while his second was expertly taken. A naturally two-footed player, the Scot showed what an asset that is as he controlled Alan Rogers' low cross with his right before slamming a shot with his left into the far corner with some venom.
Bassett had deliberated for some time before choosing Freedman ahead of young Harewood, but there is no doubt that the evening will have given the £900,000 signing from Wolves some confidence.
Having only played two hours of football since his arrival in the summer, Freedman has been the main victim of his manager's 4-5-1 policy.
Strikers tend to thrive more than most players on confidence and they can only get that from playing games and scoring goals. Certainly the first half will have done Freedman no harm at all, but one would imagine it will take him a little while to forget the second-half hat-trick chance that he spooned over from three yards.
Apart from the goals, the evening was notable for several other reasons. Mark Crossley made his first senior appearance in 18 months, while new signing Mathieu Louis-Jean, from Le Havre, made his senior debut at left-back with nine minutes left.
It will, however, have been the appearance of Harewood that will have given Forest fans most to think about on the way home.
The City Ground coaching staff have high hopes for the young striker and he showed why as he rose to divert Stone's cross into the net for his first senior goal late in the second half.
Stone had scored the fourth with a low drive on the stroke of half-time and for much of the second period it looked as though that would signal the end of the scoring.
Orient substitute Robbie Reinault pulled a goal back in the dying minutes as he scampered through the inside-left channel to beat Crossley.