Doubles from Steven Weir and Jordan White and a late effort from player/manager Greig McDonald saw us comfortably into Monday morning’s William Hill Scottish Cup third-round draw against the 10-man South of Scotland League leaders.
It was our biggest win since we thrashed Stranraer 8-2 in a Division Two game at Stair Park in January 2009 and ended a run of five straight defeats since we beat Annan 5-1 on the opening day of the league season.
The game was goalless until midway through the first half when Star full-back Curtiss Wilson was sent off for handling White’s header on the line – some felt it was already in but it was hard to tell – and Weir bagged his first Albion goal from the spot.
Little had happened in the game at picturesque Islecroft Stadium until that point but we took full advantage of the red card as we cruised to our first win in this competition since beating Albion Rovers in January 2010.
Binos boss McDonald made four changes to the team that lost 4-1 at Berwick. The manager, David McClune, Kieran McAnespie and Steven Weir came in for Gary Thom, Josh Flood, Stephen Day and Graham Weir. Scott Davidson was suspended and Bradley Coyne and Gavin Macpherson missed out through injury.
It was an experienced line-up but Dalbeattie, who went into the game unbeaten this season under the stewardship of 27-year-old player/boss John MacBeth, were holding their own until Wilson, a student at Stirling Uni, was dismissed.
Stirling made the game safe with a quick second from Weir after he was set up by White and the on-loan Falkirk hitman got in on the act after the interval, forcing home the third goal from close range in 53 minutes after a Mark Ferry assist.
White made it 4-0 on 66 minutes when he converted Weir’s low cross via the underside of the bar and McDonald added the fifth in the last minute after keeper Graham Wright – who earlier tipped a Ferry drive on to the crossbar and made a stunning stop to keep out a Daly McSorley volley – failed to gather a corner.
Dalbeattie struck the woodwork from a free-kick in the second half but Albion were largely comfortable and we can now look forward to Saturday’s home game with Rangers boosted by a much-needed win.
Dalbeattie Star: Wright, Wilson, MacBeth, Maxwell, MacPherson, Fergusson (Wells 34), Cameron, Harkness (Kerr 83), Parker (Cook 64), Milligan, Sloan. Subs (not used): Dingwall, Cathro (GK).
Stirling Albion: Filler, McCunnie, McAnespie, McSorley (Flood 88), McDonald, Allison, McClune, McCulloch, White (Brass 84), S Weir (G Weir 78), Ferry. Subs (not used): Thom, Peat (GK).
Scorers: S Weir (pen) 24, 30, White 53, 66, McDonald 89
Referee: Nick Walsh