Our final away game of 2014/15 ended in a heavy defeat as Ayr United moved out of the relegation play-off place with only their third win since October.
It was all too easy for the Honest Men and our cause wasn’t helped when Lee Hamilton received his second booking of the afternoon for conceding the penalty that led to the third goal in 73 minutes.
It was a hugely disappointing performance on a day when all the pressure was on Ian McCall’s men – we offered little attacking threat and our goals-against tally is now 82.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren was without banned duo Adam Cummins and Kevin McKinlay for the trip to Somerset Park while Willie Robertson, Callum Reidford, Lewis Coult and Steven Doris were all injured.
There was a debut for U20 central defender Scott Davidson and a first start for Jordan Sinclair on the left side of defence, while 17-year-old Cammy Binnie continued in goal.
We were behind after just five minutes. An inswinging free-kick from the right wasn’t dealt with and Scott McKenna was able to divert the ball into the net from close range.
The Honest Men doubled their lead midway through the first half when Nicky Devlin’s deep cross was met at the back post by Adam Blakeman and the former Hyde United midfielder squeezed a header past Binnie.
Our best spell came in the early part of the second half but clear-cut chances remained elusive and it was all over when Hamilton was penalised for what appeared to be handball following a corner and Jon Paul McGovern slammed in the spot-kick.
Ayr, who go to Forfar on Saturday while we host Stenhousemuir, got their fourth goal with three minutes left when Blakeman’s deflected shot found the net after his initial free-kick had come back off the wall.
Ayr United: Hutton, Devlin, Donald (Robertson 71), Murphy, McKenna, McGovern, Gilmour (Nisbet 80), Crawford, Preston (Beattie 71), Forrest, Blakeman.
Subs (not used): Neill, Murray, Muir, Newman (GK).
Goals: McKenna 5, Blakeman 21, 87, McGovern pen 73,
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Sinclair (D L Smith 59), Beith, Scott Davidson, Forsyth, Hamilton, Comrie, G Smith (C Paton 79), Stirling (C Smith 75), Cunningham.
Subs (not used): Johnston, Hurst, Robertson (GK).
Referee: Alan Newlands