Steven Doris scored a superb free-kick to set up a William Hill Scottish Cup third-round tie against Cumbernauld Colts at Forthbank on Saturday November 28.
It was a tense 90 minutes in the second-round replay and East Fife missed a number of chances as we claimed our fourth shut-out in a row.
Stuart McLaren celebrated his first anniversary in charge with a precious win thanks to Doris’ terrific strike and the players gave everything as we held on to reach round 3.
Afternoon fog had put the game in some doubt but conditions had improved well before kick-off as the sides met for the third time in a month, following draws in both league and cup at Bayview.
We were without banned duo Ross Smith and Willie Robertson, new signing David Sinclair was ineligible and Phil Johnston and Craig Beattie injured.
By half-time we had lost skipper Ross McMillan to a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for a number of weeks.
The winning goal came after just 14 minutes. Sandy Cunningham was fouled 25 yards out and Doris found the net with a perfectly-hit free-kick up and over the wall for his third goal of the season.
Cunningham had an effort disallowed for offside – it looked a close call – and Sean Dickson was denied a goal against his former club when Ryan Goodfellow somehow got a hand to his top-corner bound 20 yarder but East Fife were always a threat.
Top scorer Nathan Austin should have scored before half-time but shot weakly at Chris Smith, who also saved from the same player early in the second half.
Austin should have levelled with 20 minutes left when unmarked in the box but again Smith came to the rescue and there was another let-off in the final minute when ex-Albion defender Jonathan Page sent a header wide.
Doris was denied a second goal by a good save in stoppage time but one proved enough as the visitors were left to rue their squandered opportunities.
Stirling Albion: C Smith, McGeachie, McKinlay (Hamilton 77), Mazel, Forsyth, McMillan (D Smith 38), Verlaque, Comrie, Doris, Cunningham (Lamont 77), Dickson.
Subs (not used): McNab, Lander, Olanrewaju, Binnie (GK).
Goal: Doris 14
East Fife: Goodfellow, Mullen, Page, Brown (Campbell 59), Austin, Wilkie, O’Kane (Murray 74), MacGregor (MacDonald 61), Naysmith, Mercer, Kerr.
Subs (not used): Slattery, McGovern (GK).
Referee: Barry Cook