Wealdstone wasted a chance to move closer to the play-offs and recover from Saturday’s gut-wrenching FA Trophy defeat after a 3-2 defeat to Eastbourne Borough at Grosvenor Vale last night.

The fixture was one of several games in hand that Wealdstone have in the league but they were after just 33 seconds to Jamie Taylor's effort. Danny Green equalised with a header before Taylor doubled his tally on the stroke of half time.

The Stones responded well in the second half and equalised through Matty Whichelow, but the Sports snatched the win late on when substitute Lloyd Dawes ended a counter-attacking move as their hosts chased a late winner.

Stones remain 13th in the table following the defeat and are 10 points off the play-offs.

Bobby Wilkinson made five changes to the side that lost the FA Trophy semi-final second leg to Brackley Town, with Dan Fitchett and Ricky Wellard returning as did the cup-tied trio of Ian Gayle, David Pratt and Jeffrey Monakana, with the latter making his Stones debut.

The 752-strong crowd were anxious to see how the Stones would respond to Saturday’s morale-crushing defeat and the answer was far from ideal as Taylor fired a well-struck effort past Jonathan North to give the Sports the lead inside the opening minute.

Eastbourne almost doubled their advantage when former Stones loanee Shaun Okojie had his header cleared off the line by Gayle and Harry Ransom fired over the rebound.

Monakana had an impressive debut for the Stones and grabbed the first of two assists when his corner found Green unmarked at the far post to power a header in.

The first half remained largely even, with Borough’s Yemi Odubade firing wide when one-on-one and Green seeing a volley go just over the bar.

But just as he did in the opening seconds of the half, Taylor struck again in the dying seconds before the break. A headed clearance looped up in the air from an Eastborune cross and Taylor volleyed past North from the edge of the area and into the bottom corner.

Stones flew out of the blocks in the second half and Pratt and Whichelow combined twice from crosses, with the latter seeing his shot crucially blocked by Archie Edwards from Pratt's cross and Pratt heading just over the bar from a Whichelow cross.

But former Watford man Whichelow did find the back of the net on 57 minutes. Monakana spotted Whichelow lurking at the far post and played an accurate deep cross right onto the foot of the midfielder who smashed it past Mark Smith.

Wealdstone went close twice again through Pratt and Fitchett and dominated the second half, until the 87th minute.

Chasing the victory, Wealdstone threw too many bodies forward from a free-kick and when Jake Sheppard’s set piece failed to beat the first man the visitors broke at lightning pace, with Dawes finishing off an easy effort, with Eastbourne having a four v two advantage on the break.

Stones now host fellow mid-table side East Thurrock United at The Vale on Saturday with a win crucial as play-off hopes are diminishing.

Wealdstone: North, Sheppard, Okimo, Gayle, Oshodi, Wellard, Monakana, Whichelow, Pratt, Green, Fitchett (Kearney 67). Subs not used: Goodger, Bubb, Wilson, Sellers.