A young Albion side went down 6-0 to Stenhousemuir in the first round of the Stirlingshire Cup at Ochilview on Tuesday night.
Keeper Callum Reidford and Ross Forsyth provided some experience against a Warriors team that included Stewart Greacen and Colin McMenamin and a number of their other substitutes from the defeat at Brora.
William Robertson, who made his debut in our 3-0 win at Elgin, again featured as a trialist but was sent off in the closing stages after picking up a second yellow card.
Paul Sludden, signed from Stirling University during the summer, gave Stenhousemuir the lead in 11 minutes when he beat Reidford to the ball and found the net from outside the box.
Greg Hurst and Tommy McAllister came close to scoring at the other end but Scott Booth’s men then seized control, with three goals in eight minutes before the break.
Alan Lawson forced the ball home after Reidford failed to gather a corner then Kyle Doherty netted after his initial effort had been saved.
Sludden scored the fourth on the brink of half-time when he smashed a 30-yarder high into the net and the ex-Falkirk forward drilled a low shot past Reidford for 5-0 as he completed his hat-trick early in the second half.
We largely steadied the ship after that but conceded a sixth goal with two minutes left when ex-Morton central defender Greacen headed in a corner.
The Warriors now face Alloa at Recreation Park in the semi-finals as they bid to lift the trophy for the first time since 2001/02.
Binos boss Greig McDonald said: “There weren’t too many positives but one of them was certainly the performance of Tommy McAllister. He did really well and I was also impressed by Jordan Herron when he came on as a substitute.
“It was also good for Ross Forsyth to get 90 minutes under his belt but overall we had a young team out there against a more experienced Stenhousemuir side and the boys will learn from it.”
Stenhousemuir: Dean Shaw, Ross Meechan (Robbie Duncan 82), Stewart Greacen, Alan Lawson, James Redpath, Kieran Millar, Kyle Doherty, Gregor Fotheringham, Colin McMenamin, Paul Sludden (Stanley Chitemere 60), Ryan Miller.
Scorers: Sludden 11, 45, 57, Lawson 37, Doherty 39, Greacen 88
Stirling Albion: Callum Reidford, Stephen Al-Sayed, David Cross, William Robertson, David Grant, Reece Boyle, Tommy McAllister, Blair Munn (Jordan Herron 58), Greg Hurst (Ally Petrie 58), Jordan Sinclair (Conor McKenzie 67), Ross Forsyth.
Referee: Barry Cook