Annan came from behind to strengthen their grip on fourth place as we suffered a heavy defeat on a miserable afternoon at Galabank.
Blair Henderson’s eighth goal of the season had us ahead after only seven minutes but Smart Osadolor equalised right on half-time. He scored again early in the second period and Max Wright also weighed in with a double after coming on as a substitute.
The result leaves us seventh in the table, three points above bottom club Cowdenbeath, ahead of next weekend’s home game with Montrose. Next up is Tuesday’s Scottish Cup replay at Clyde and the Binos will need to be much harder to beat to have any chance of booking a last-16 tie at Ayr.
Dave Mackay made three changes to the team that drew with Clyde. Fit-again Chris Smith was recalled in place of Cammy Binnie, on-loan Rangers midfielder Josh Jeffries made his debut at the expense of Andy Black and Henderson started following the departure of Dylan Bikey to Hearts.
Ross Cameron, top scorer for the U20s, became the 37th different player to feature this season when he came on as a substitute with 15 minutes remaining.
Henderson fired us in front early on, taking a pass from Darren Smith and holding off a defender before doing well to plant a precise shot into the corner. Blair Currie then denied both Henderson and Jeffries in the same attack before Nathan Flanagan missed a good chance at the other end.
Annan dropped out of the game as the half wore on but a break down the left allowed Osadolor to pounce from close range to equalise and that changed the match.
Jim Chapman’s men were impressive after the interval – on-loan St Mirren winger Flanagan was proving a real handful and his low cross from the left was turned in by Osadolor in 56 minutes.
We had a penalty shout turned down when Jeffries appeared to be bundled over but the hosts were largely dominant and Flanagan hit the side netting before Wright found the bottom corner from the edge of the box to put the game out of reach in 74 minutes.
Darren Smith almost pulled one back in stoppage time but was denied by Currie and Annan then broke quickly, allowing Wright to score the fourth with a header from a right-wing cross.
Annan Athletic: Currie, Home, Lucas, Krissian, Watson, Skelton, Omar, Ramsay (Wright 65), Weatherson, Osadolor (Smith 78), Flanagan (McKenna 83).
Subs (not used): Black, Dachnowicz, Swinglehurst, Mitchell (GK).
Goals: Osadolor 45, 56, Wright 74, 90
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Caddis, Quigley, Scott Davidson, Wright, Robertson (Black 85), Colquhoun (Dickson 69), McLaren, Jeffries (Cameron 75), D Smith, Henderson.
Subs (not used): Forsyth, Mills, Petrie, Binnie (GK).
Goal: Henderson 7
Referee: Grant Irvine