Wealdstone blew the chance to move within two points off the play-off positions and suffered a third successive home defeat in a 2-1 loss to Gloucester City at Grosvenor Vale last night.

Unlike Saturday’s defeat to league leaders Dartford and Staines Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup though, the Stones were uncharacteristically second best for large periods of the game.

Bobby Wilkinson made just one change to the side that lost to Dartford with Ricky Wellard replacing Marcus Johnson-Schuster. Iffy Allen remained in the side after Stones decided to appeal his red card from the previous game that will come into effect this Saturday.

Despite the visitors’ dominance, it was Wealdstone who started the brightest and they should have led just two minutes in when Danny Green played Dan Fitchett in on goal but the striker shot straight at James Hamon when one-on-one.

Allen proved to be a handful in the opening stages, crossing for Wellard who headed wide and also creating an opportunity of his own that he blasted narrowly the wrong side of the post.

Gloucester were defending well, with blocks from Robbie Cundy and Sam Avery denying threatening opportunities from Green and Allen.

And on 37 minutes they took the lead. Joe Hanks played a defence-splitting ball to Harry Williams, he cut it past Reagan Ogle and slotted underneath Jonathan North in goal.

This encouraged the Tigers and they took that momentum into the second half.

North had to be alert to twice deny Hanks before a goalmouth scramble ensued with the keeper eventually punching the ball out for a corner.

From the resulting corner the lead was doubled. Ed Williams played it short to Banks, he beat Wellard and fired a hard, low shot with pace across goal and the slightest deflection took it out of North's reach.

Wealdstone gave themselves a lifeline on 73 minutes. Wellard had a shot blocked and Gloucester failed to clear their lines properly, allowing Fitchett to pounce on a loose ball and fire into the top corner from close range.

The visitors almost restored their two-goal margin instantly but North was out quick to deny substitute Joe Parker from point-blank range.

Stones mustered up late headed chances from Mustafa Tiryaki and Fitchett but a late equaliser would have been harsh on the visitors who showed impressive work-rate throughout the contest.

Wealdstone have big spending Billericay Town up next in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy with masses of Stones fans expected to make the trip.

Wealdstone: North, Ogle, Okimo, Gayle, Oshodi, Cox (Tiryaki 54), Fitchett, Wellard, Pratt, Green, Allen (Whichelow 67). Subs not used: Otudeko, Wilson, Day.