Airdrie midfielder Jordan Morton scored the winner shortly before half-time as we went out in the first round of the League Cup for the eighth year in a row.
There wasn’t much between the teams but that single goal proved enough to send the Diamonds into Monday afternoon’s second-round draw and means we go into Saturday’s Ladbrokes League 2 opener at home to Clyde having already exited two cup competitions.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren made one change to the team beaten 3-2 at Borough Briggs – with Craig Comrie replacing Sandy Cunningham. Darren Lee Smith, Kevin McKinlay and Ross McMillan were again ruled out and there was a place on the bench for new U20 midfielder Robbie McNab.
Airdrie arrived on the back of a surprise 3-1 defeat at Annan but they were the better team in the first half and Chris Smith made a terrific save to keep out a Taylor Morgan effort following a corner before the deadlock was broken in the 40th minute.
Former Hearts and Cowdenbeath man Morton slammed a low drive into the net after the visitors had created the opening with some neat passing inside the box.
Former Falkirk forward Morgan, on loan from Swedish side Ostersunds, should have settled the issue early in the second period when sent clear by David Cox but he blazed over as Smith came out.
Thereafter, we enjoyed good spells in the game, and had two big penalty appeals waved away for challenges on Phil Johnston, but we weren’t able to carve out many clear-cut chances against our League 1 opponents.
Salim Kouider-Aissa should have done better than fire wide when the ball dropped to him in stoppage time then fellow substitute Steven Doris was denied a last-gasp equaliser – the flag went up before he found the bottom corner with a terrific finish.
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Hamilton, Forsyth, Robertson, Staunton, R Smith, Johnston, Comrie (Cunningham 69), Beattie (Kouider-Aissa 57), McGovern, Dickson (Doris 79).
Subs (not used): McGeachie, Scott Davidson, McNab, Binnie (gk).
Airdrieonians: Parry, Bain, Van Zanten, McBride, Crighton, Lithgow, Cox (Watt 85), O’Neil (Gilfillan 50), Morgan, Prunty (Stewart 86), Morton.
Subs (not used): Sumsky, McAleer, Glackin, Ferguson (gk).
Goal: Morton 40
Referee: Mike Roncone