Ayr cruised to their first win since October to move out of the bottom two and leave us eight points adrift of Stenhousemuir at the foot of League 1.
Ian McCall’s men made a strong start at Forthbank and were two goals ahead inside 15 minutes thanks to midfielder David Robertson and a Gordon Smith own goal as they capitalised on some poor defending.
Phil Johnston gave us hope with his second goal of the season early in the second half but substitute Craig Beattie and Jordan Preston – one of five recent signings in the Ayr line-up – sealed an emphatic away victory.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren made two changes to the team narrowly beaten in our last outing at Stranraer a fortnight ago, with skipper Chris Smith returning from a ban in place of Craig Wedderburn and on-loan Falkirk forward Scott Shepherd getting the nod ahead of Sandy Cunningham.
We were soon under pressure as Ayr seized the initiative and Robbie Crawford headed against the post before Robertson, on his debut after moving from Livingston, tucked the ball home after another effort had rebounded from the woodwork.
Three minutes later Gordon Smith could only head Adam Blakeman’s cross into his own net, just 30 seconds after keeper Greg Paterson had done well to keep out a Craig Murray effort.
We began to cause Ayr some problems and Shepherd was thwarted by keeper David Hutton before Angus Beith set up Lewis Coult, whose shot came back off the post.
Johnston cut in from the left to drill a low drive into the corner nine minutes into the second half but we were unable to put the visitors under any sustained pressure.
Beattie was left unmarked to head in Ayr’s third goal from a corner and he then teed up Preston, on loan from Blackburn Rovers, for the fourth with seven minutes left.
Stirling Albion: Paterson, Hamilton, McKinlay, Beith, McGeachie, C Smith, Johnston, Comrie, Coult, G Smith, Shepherd (Cunningham 56).
Subs (not used): Forsyth, Robertson, Paton, Herron, Wedderburn, Reidford (GK).
Goal: Johnston 54
Ayr United: Hutton, Devlin, Blakeman, Robertson (Beattie 46), Neill, McGovern, Murray, Crawford (Muir 68), Preston, Forrest (Nisbet 87), Donald.
Subs (not used): Donnelly, McCracken, Newman (GK).
Goals: Robertson 12, G Smith og 15, Beattie 74, Preston 83
Referee: Brian Colvin