Stirling Albion will be playing in League 1 next season after a dramatic 2-0 win over East Fife in the second leg of the play-off final at Bayview on Sunday.
We trailed 2-1 from the first game in midweek but Jordan White levelled things on aggregate with 16 minutes remaining and substitute Sandy Cunningham struck a stunning 81st-minute effort to send us up.
This was a tense afternoon but it ended in celebration after our eighth win in 10 matches clinched promotion and relegated Gary Naysmith’s men in the process.
Binos boss Greig McDonald made one change – Chris Smith returned in place of Jamie Bishop – while the hosts gave starts to Scott McBride and Nathan Austin, who had both come off the bench to score at Forthbank.
East Fife led 2-1 from the first leg and were still in command at half-time following a first period of few clear-cut chances, although David Crawford made an important save from Austin and he also pushed away a Pat Clarke free-kick.
We pressed for the breakthrough after the restart but Craig Comrie fired narrowly over and Graham Weir missed a decent chance and time was ebbing away when White levelled the aggregate score with his 23rd goal of the season.
Phil Johnston hooked the ball back into the box and, from a tight angle, White was able to lift it over teenage keeper Dylan Rooney and in off the bar.
It was a thrilling moment in front of the 700 away fans but East Fife hit back and we were fortunate to escape when Crawford grabbed the ball on the line before a driven cross somehow failed to find a taker.
With nine minutes left came the goal that will live long in the memory. Darren Smith picked out White and he did well to flick the ball into the path of Cunningham, who smashed a perfect left-foot shot into the corner.
The closing minutes felt like hours and there was a massive scare when Liam Buchanan got in behind the defence but Crawford came to the rescue and there was an early pitch invasion when the Albion fans mistook a substitution for full-time.
Eventually, though, Calum Murray called time and the supporters and players could celebrate a remarkable triumph that few would have predicted two months ago.
East Fife: Rooney, Cowan, Johnstone, Thom, Campbell, J Stewart (Brown 65), Clarke, Barr, Smith (Buchanan 71), McBride (Durie 53), Austin.
Subs (not used): Mbu, McKenzie, Inkango, Paterson (GK).
Stirling Albion: Crawford, Hamilton, Forsyth, McClune, C Smith, D Smith, Johnston (Ferry 90), Comrie (Bishop 89), White, Weatherston (Cunningham 71), Weir.
Subs (not used): Fulton, McGeachie, O’Byrne, Reidford (GK).
Scorers: White 74, Cunningham 81
Referee: Calum Murray