East Fife moved three points clear of Elgin at the top of the table after strolling to victory at Forthbank, all but ending our slim play-off hopes in the process.
Gary Naysmith’s side scored twice in the opening period and we fell apart in the final 20 minutes after the visitors introduced top scorer Nathan Austin from the bench.
It was an embarrassing afternoon for the Binos as we shipped six goals for the first time since a 6-1 thrashing by Partick Thistle at Firhill in January 2011.
Stuart McLaren made three changes to the team beaten at Berwick, with Ross Forsyth, Lewis McLear and Mark Lamont replacing Ross McGeachie, David Verlaque and Craig Beattie.
However, an injury to Ross Smith in the warm-up saw a further enforced alteration. Scot Buist was drafted into the team after a month out injured but within 20 minutes he had been replaced by McGeachie after picking up a knock.
By that stage, East Fife were two goals ahead. Ross Brown scored in just three minutes after Chris Smith had saved his initial effort then Kevin Smith’s deflected effort looped up and over the keeper.
The middle part of the match saw the visitors comfortably contain us and they ran riot in the closing stages. Austin, who scored a hat-trick here on Boxing Day, finished well after getting in behind the defence then headed in Smith’s cross at the back post.
Stevie Campbell strolled into the box to score the fifth with five minutes left and Ali Coote, on loan from Dundee United, rounded things off from close range after being picked out by Smith.
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Johnston, Forsyth, Robertson, Buist (McGeachie 20), McMillan, McLear, Dickson (Olanrewaju 65), Doris, D Smith (Beattie 74), Lamont.
Subs (not used): Comrie, Mazel, McKinlay, Binnie (GK).
East Fife: Kelly, Slattery, Campbell, Page, Brown (Coote 83), Smith, Wilkie, Naysmith (Mullen 80), Mercer, Kerr, Insall (Austin 71).
Subs (not used): McManus, Murray, O’Kane, Goodfellow (GK).
Goals: Brown 3, Smith 16, Austin 73, 78, Campbell 85, Coote 87
Referee: Steven Reid