Mark Ferry grabbed the winner as we came out on top in a hard-fought encounter against 10-man Montrose in our League Two opener on Saturday.
Former Falkirk midfielder Dale Fulton gave Albion the lead six minutes into his debut but Graham Webster volleyed the equaliser after Ricky McIntosh was sent off on the half-hour mark for denying Phil Johnston a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Ferry nodded home from close range 16 minutes from time after Chris Smith had headed a Graham Weir free-kick into his path, with the Montrose defence appealing strongly for offside.
In a tense finish, David Crawford pulled off a superb save to deny Terry Masson, as the midfielder looked set to equalise, and the same player fired over in stoppage time, 60 seconds after Stuart McKenzie had made a fine stop to thwart Ferry.
Binos boss Greig McDonald made two changes to the team beaten 3-0 by Hamilton in the League Cup last weekend, with Fulton and Kieran McAnespie replacing the suspended Stephen Day and full-back Ross McGeachie, who dropped to the bench.
New signing David Weatherston was listed among the seven subs allowed by SPFL rules, as was David McClune on his return from injury, and both came on.
Fulton, playing behind lone striker Jordan White, made an impressive debut and ran clear to score with a cool finish after dispossessing Alan Campbell.
Johnston had the chance to double our lead when he got beyond the last defender but ex-Cove Rangers keeper McKenzie blocked his shot. The winger’s pace was causing problems and referee Colin Steven had no option but to brandish a red card when McIntosh impeded Johnston as he homed in on goal.
McAnespie’s free-kick was tipped round the post by McKenzie but Montrose levelled in 38 minutes when a brilliant cross from ex-Bino Ross McCord allowed Webster to steer a volley across Crawford and into the corner for an impressive equaliser.
We enjoyed plenty of possession on the plastic pitch in the second half but struggled to create chances and it was left to Ferry to get just enough on the ball to scramble the winner as we triumphed at Links Park for the first time since February 2004.
It is the third year in a row we have won our opening league game and we welcome Peterhead to Forthbank next weekend looking to build on a good start.
Montrose: McKenzie, McNally, McIntosh, Wilson, Campbell, McCord, Webster (Winter 79), Masson, Bonar (Young 59), Sturrock (Bell 32), Johnston.
Subs (not used): Crawford, Easton (GK).
Scorer: Webster 38
Stirling Albion: Crawford, McCunnie, Forsyth, McAnespie (McClune 64), Bishop, Smith, Johnston, Ferry, White (Weatherston 83), Weir, Fulton (Coyne 64).
Subs (not used): McGeachie, Clark, Ashe, Robertson (GK).
Scorers: Fulton 6, Ferry 74
Referee: Colin Steven