Morton maintained their 100% home record as we ended the first quarter at the bottom of League 1.
A third straight 2-0 defeat, and Airdrie’s 4-0 thrashing of Brechin, saw us slip to 10th place as we prepare for a vital home double header against Stenhousemuir and the Diamonds.
Goals from Andy Barrowman and substitute David McNeil earned Jim Duffy’s side a deserved win as they bounced back from successive away defeats to Stenhousemuir and Brechin to move up to third in the table.
It was a poor game, short on incident, and Greig McDonald’s men again struggled to create clear-cut openings as we failed to score for the fifth time in six matches.
The Binos boss made two changes to the team beaten by Dunfermline at Forthbank the previous week. Ross McGeachie replaced the suspended Craig Wedderburn in the centre of defence as he made his first start of the season and Darren Lee Smith was restored to the side as Sandy Cunningham dropped to the bench.
Perhaps it was the early start – it was a 1.00pm kick-off due to Scotland’s Euro 2016 qualifier at Ibrox later in the day – but there was a flat feel to the opening exchanges.
Morton upped the pace after half an hour and a flurry of activity was rewarded with the opening goal in 33 minutes. Callum Reidford pushed out a low drive from Joe McKee and former Livingston striker Barrowman swept the ball home from close range as we appealed in vain for offside.
Lee Hamilton, who this week signed a new contract until 2016, prevented a second goal for the hosts early in the second period when he managed to head a net-bound Stefan McCluskey effort off the line before we had our brightest spell of the game.
Substitute Gordon Smith had keeper Derek Gaston scrambling to clutch a shot at the base of the post then Graham Weir fizzed a drive into the side netting after breaking down the left.
However, Morton sealed the points with five minutes left when our defence failed to deal with a long ball and McNeil nipped in apply the finish under Reidford.
Morton: Gaston, Kilday, Russell, O’Ware, Milojevic, Hands, McKee, Pepper, Barrowman (McNeil 79), McManus, S McCluskey (J McCluskey 67).
Subs (not used): Scullion, Crawford, Lamie, Knight, Caraux (GK).
Scorers: Barrowman 33, McNeil 85
Stirling Albion: Reidford, Hamilton, Creaney, McClune (Fulton 84), McGeachie, C Smith, D L Smith, Robertson, Coult (G Smith 67), Doris, Weir (Cunningham 71).
Subs (not used): D Smith, Forsyth, McCulloch, Paterson (GK).
Referee: Mat Northcroft