Nine-man Albion slipped out of the play-off places as Iain Thomson’s 45th-minute penalty lifted Shire into the top four in League 2.
David McClune and Kieran McAnespie were both sent off in the closing stages at Ochilview, where we have now picked up just two points on our last four visits.
Former Stenhousemuir midfielder Thomson netted the only goal in first-half stoppage time after Ross McGeachie had conceded the spot-kick, pushing Nathan Shepherd in the back at a cross ball when there was no danger.
Aside from an early chance for David Weatherston, neither team had looked remotely like scoring in a grim encounter but the penalty allowed Shire to profit and we were behind at the break for the third game in a row.
Greig McDonald’s men rallied recently against Elgin and Queen’s Park but this time there was to be no comeback, although we did have the chances to salvage a point.
Weatherston should have scored after bursting into the box but his effort was saved by Grant Hay while Jordan White headed a McAnespie corner wide from close range and Lee Hamilton was unlucky when his powerful drive from 20 yards smashed against the top of the crossbar.
Our hopes of a recovery were hindered when McClune – a first-half replacement for the injured Darren Smith – saw red for a high challenge on Ricky Miller with 10 minutes left.
McAnespie, drafted into the side along with Graham Weir as Danny Ashe and Mark Ferry dropped out, was dismissed by referee Colin Steven in 84 minutes for dissent, having already been cautioned for a similar offence in the first half, and Shire comfortably saw the game out.
We have the chance to reclaim fourth spot when we face Elgin City at Forthbank on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm. Admission is free, with donations welcome to our charity partner, the John Hartson Foundation.
East Stirlingshire: Hay, Tapping, Maxwell, Townsley, Bolochoweckyj (O’Donoghue 59), Thomson, Shepherd (Turner 78), Greenhill, MacGregor, Miller, Wright.
Subs (not used): Quinn, Devlin, Glasgow, Herd, Gordon (GK)
Scorer: Thomson pen 45
Stirling Albion: Crawford, McGeachie, McAnespie, D Smith (McClune 33), Bishop, O’Byrne, Hamilton (Johnston 69), Comrie, White, Weatherston (Cunningham 64), Weir. Subs (not used): Ferry, Ashe, Day, Reidford (GK)
Referee: Colin Steven