Eastbourne Borough missed the opportunity to move up the National League South standings after falling to a disappointing loss at Taunton Town.

Decarrey Sheriff’s late goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation in Somerset, after goals from Cameron Evans and Ross Stearn saw the hosts win 2-1.

It was a case of missed chances proving costly once again for the Sports, though, as a clincal Taunton side moved to the top of the National League South standings.

Mark Beard made five changes to the starting line up that drew with Welling seven days ago, mostly enforced due to injuries. Ben Dudzinski returned in goal, with Dan Quick, Alfie Bridgman and Billy Vigar earning starts. There was also a debut for Michael Olarewaju, who joined from Dover Athletic.

The Sports started brightly, with Zac Emmerson forcing Dan Lavercombe into a good save to his left – only for the referee to blow for handball in the build up – before Olarewaju headed over from a corner.

However, the hosts nearly broke the deadlock after 20 minutes when Jay Foulston headed the ball through to Stearn in space on the left. His shot went through the hands of Dudzinski, but the Borough keeper recovered well to claw the ball away.

Shiloh Remy then linked up well with Yaser Kasim and then Emmerson as he broke down the right hand side. He cut back onto his left foot, but saw his strike go straight at Lavercombe.

Taunton then had a big chance to go in front eight minutes before half time when Dylan Morgan got in behind down the left and he pulled the ball across to Stearn in space, but he could only fire his first time effort wide when well placed.

But the Sports’ resistance was broken with 42 minutes on the clock. Lee Lucas swung the ball in from the right and picked out Nat Jarvis. His downward header was well saved by Dudzinski, but Evans reacted first to bundle in the rebound.

However, Borough looked for a response early in the second half and almost got it. Imran Uche came on at half-time and after good work from Remy, Bridgman teed up the substitute but his strike was turned onto the bar by a diving Lavercombe.

But just ten minutes later, Taunton doubled their advantage. The Sports failed to clear a long free-kick into the area and Stearn pounced on the loose ball before firing low past Dudzinski.

Sheriff then came off the bench on the hour mark and almost made an instant impact, crossing in from the left to an unmarked Emmerson but his downward header went wide.

The Blackpool-loanee then headed wide of the far corner from Jack Paxman’s free-kick as the Sports continued to push forwards.

Dudzinski’s long ball then eventually dropped to Emmerson again inside the area. He did well to make room for the shot, which Lavercombe had to turn away diving to his left. Uche then picked up the loose ball on the right, and his inswinging cross looped goalwards and Marcus Day had to head clear on the line.

Borough’s pressure eventually paid off in the fourth minute of added time. Paxman and Emmerson combined on the left, and the latter crossed in for Sheriff who headed beyond the keeper.

But it was too little too late for Borough, with the final whistle sounding moments after the restart to condemn them to defeat in Somerset.