A second-half collapse saw Albion suffer a sixth straight defeat at a rain-lashed Excelsior Stadium.
Ross McGeachie gave us the lead after just three minutes but doubles from Bryan Prunty and Jim Lister extended Airdrie’s good run to one loss in the last 12 matches.
Stuart McLaren’s men remain eight points adrift of Stenhousemuir as we prepare to face in-form Morton at Cappielow in a rearranged game on Tuesday night.
There were debuts for new loan signings Adam Cummins and Andy Stirling as Chris Smith missed out due to illness and Sandy Cunningham dropped to the bench.
Darren Lee Smith was back in the squad after four months out with a knee injury and returned to action as a late substitute but Steven Doris and Graham Weir remain out.
We got off to a dream start when McGeachie forced the ball home from close range after Lewis Coult’s header from Angus Beith’s corner had come back off the post.
Airdrie hit back and had a penalty appeal turned down – Beith appeared to catch Scott Fraser – before Lister headed wide and another effort was cleared off the line.
Ahead at the interval – at a venue where we earned our last shut-out back in August – you wondered if this might be our day but instead it all went wrong in the second half.
Prunty equalised from the spot in 58 minutes after Lister had gone down under a challenge from Greg Paterson and 60 seconds later Lister’s ball in from the left was missed by everyone and ended up in the net.
We never recovered from that double blow and Paterson did well to tip a Prunty drive on to and over the bar, with Fraser rattling the woodwork direct from the corner.
It was all over 10 minutes from time when we carelessly gave the ball away and Lister got on the end of a cross from the right to score from close range.
Prunty added the fourth after Paterson had spilled a shot from the edge of the box and the woodwork denied the Diamonds a fifth goal in stoppage time.
Airdrieonians: McNeil, Bain, Boyle, Gilfillan (Gray 73), Gasparotto, Lindsay, Docherty (Watt 49), Fitzpatrick, Lister (Boyle 85), Fraser, Prunty.
Subs (not used): Morton, O’Neil, Blockley, Garden (GK).
Scorers: Prunty pen 58, 83, Lister 59, 80
Stirling Albion: Paterson, McGeachie, McKinlay, Beith, Cummins, Forsyth, Johnston (D L Smith 80), Comrie (Cunningham 66), Coult (Shepherd 46), G Smith, Stirling.
Subs (not used): Wedderburn, Paton, Hamilton, Reidford (GK).
Scorer: McGeachie 3
Referee: Gavin Ross