Sub Martyn Fotheringham headed a late winner as leaders Forfar claimed a narrow victory at a freezing Station Park.
Darren Dods gave Dick Campbell’s men the lead before Steven Doris equalised in first-half stoppage time.
Gordon Smith missed a great chance early in the second period and we played some good football on the artificial pitch but Forfar ultimately claimed the points and results elsewhere in League 1 also went against us.
We now travel to second-bottom Ayr United on Saturday, trailing the Honest Men by eight points, while Forfar have a two-point advantage at the summit following their seventh home win of the season.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren made just one change to the team that lost 3-2 to Peterhead at Forthbank last week, with Craig Comrie making his first start since August in place of Dale Fulton, who was ill.
Willie Robertson was suspended and Darren Lee Smith and Lewis Coult again missed out for what was our first visit to Station Park since a 4-3 defeat in March 2012.
There was plenty to admire about the Stirling performance, with Comrie and on-loan Hearts teenager Angus Beith doing well in the middle of the park and Cunningham causing problems for the Forfar defence in his role just off the front.
It was Forfar who took the lead, though, following a corner in 26 minutes when Dods was allowed to turn in the box and slam a shot past Callum Reidford, who had done well to deny Mark Baxter earlier in the match.
The equaliser arrived in first half-stoppage time when Cunningham created the opening for Doris and he found the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the season.
Our best spell of the game came in the early part of the second half, during which Gordon Smith was sent clear by Cunningham but he failed to beat Douglas.
Other than a Chris Templeman header that sailed narrowly wide, we restricted Forfar to few chances but, with nine minutes left, Fotheringham was given too much space in the box and he thumped home a header from a left-wing cross for the winning goal.
Forfar Athletic: Douglas, Baxter, Paterson (Malcolm 69), Dunlop, Dods, Smith, Kader (Templeman 46), Husband, Hilson, Swankie, Denholm (Fotheringham 74).
Subs (not used): Malin, Dale, James, Salmon (GK).
Scorers: Dods 26, Fotheringham 81
Stirling Albion: Reidford, Hamilton, Forsyth (Creaney 52), Beith, McGeachie, C Smith, Johnston (Small 77), Comrie (Weir 83), Doris, G Smith, Cunningham.
Subs (not used): Wedderburn, D Smith, McClune, Paterson (GK).
Scorer: Doris 45
Referee: Gavin Ross