Our seven-match unbeaten run came to a disappointing end at Hampden Park as Queen’s Park earned a narrow but deserved victory.
Gus MacPherson’s men were the last team to beat us when they won 2-1 at Forthbank at the end of September and they did it again thanks to a 69th-minute goal from substitute John Carter.
This was our poorest performance for some time and we rarely looked like getting back on level terms on a cold afternoon at the National Stadium.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren made two changes to the team that beat Arbroath 3-1 last weekend – U20 keeper Cammie Binnie replaced the suspended Chris Smith and Sean Dickson was favoured ahead of Mark Lamont.
Craig Beattie returned to the squad after three months out with a hamstring injury and there was also a place on the bench for U17 goalie Ronan Fallens. Phil Johnston and Ross McMillan were again ruled out through injury.
There was a lively start to our first visit to Hampden since a 2-0 win in August 2013. Steven Doris almost beat keeper William Muir to a through ball and Craig Comrie made a great run into the box before being denied by Muir.
At the other end, Jamie McKernon drilled an angled drive inches wide and it was the Spiders who almost went ahead after 32 minutes when Paul Woods picked out on-loan Partick Thistle striker Chris Duggan, whose shot came back off the bar.
We struggled to get going in the second half and Queen’s Park threatened on a couple of occasions before Carter slammed the ball high past Binnie after a surging run from ex-Albion midfielder Craig McLeish had provided the assist.
The home side, who came into this game on the back of a 6-1 win at Montrose on Tuesday, were denied a second goal by the offside flag with four minutes left when sub Ciaran McElroy pounced after Binnie had pushed out a McLeish drive.
The result leaves us sixth in the table – four points off the play-offs and three points above the bottom – as we prepare to play Cumbernauld Colts in the Scottish Cup.
Queen’s Park: Muir, Mitchell, Burns, Berry, McGeever, Gibson, Woods, McKernon, Duggan (McElroy 83), Bradley (Carter 55), McLeish.
Subs (not used): Wharton, McVey, Baty, Mortimer, O’Boyle (GK).
Scorer: Carter 69
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, McKinlay (Lamont 73), Mazel, R Smith, Robertson, Verlaque, Comrie (Forsyth 59), Doris, Cunningham, Dickson (D Smith 59). Subs (not used): Hamilton, Beattie, Kouider-Aissa, Fallens (GK).
Referee: Gavin Duncan