Dave Mackay’s men ended a perfect week with a hard-fought win over bottom club Cowdenbeath on a heavy pitch at Central Park.
A third straight victory and clean sheet means we are now 14 points clear of the Blue Brazil and have the chance to leapfrog Montrose and climb to fifth in Ladbrokes League 2 when we travel to Links Park on Saturday.
The game only went ahead after an 11.00am inspection and Cowdenbeath deserve huge credit for getting the match on following heavy overnight rain.
Binos boss Mackay was without the injured Ross McMillan, Willie Robertson, Jack McCue, Andy Little, Callumn Morrison and Darren Petrie. He made two changes to the team that beat Elgin in midweek, with Conor Quigley and Darren Smith replacing Ross Forsyth and Connor McLaren.
Liam Fox’s men had lost six straight games since winning at Forthbank on Hogmanay but should have been ahead after six minutes.
Ross McGeachie brought down Kris Renton just inside the box but Chris Smith saved Dale Carrick’s penalty with his feet despite going the wrong way and Renton couldn’t quite squeeze home the rebound from a tight angle.
The hosts didn’t look like team who are adrift at the foot of the table and Robbie Buchanan had a shot cleared off the line before we went ahead in 19 minutes when Ross Smith headed Connor McMullan’s free kick beyond Jamie Sneddon.
Cowden didn’t crumble and Dale Carrick dragged a shot wide, Chris Smith saved from Brian Ross then pushed a Buchanan drive on to the post while Darren Smith had a shot cleared off the line shortly before the break.
We scored the crucial second goal two minutes after half-time when Liam Caddis picked out Sean Dickson with a perfect cross from the right flank and the midfielder steered a terrific volley into the net from near the penalty spot for his seventh league goal of the season.
Blair Henderson then fired a shot against the post and Ross Smith came close to scoring his second of the afternoon, with Carrick and Renton missing decent chances at the other end, as we closed out our second 2-0 win of the season on this ground.
Cowdenbeath: Sneddon, Ross (Muirhead 74), Rumsby, McLauchlan, Pyper, Moore (Miller 61), Henderson, Renton, Rutherford, Carrick, Buchanan.
Subs (not used): McGurn (GK), O’Brien, Glen, Johnston.
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Caddis, McGeachie, R Smith, Quigley, Black, McMullan (Colquhoun 63) (Forsyth 74), Dickson, D Smith (McLaren 63), Kavanagh, Henderson.
Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Wright, Mills, Jeffries.
Goals: R Smith 19, Dickson 47
Referee: Graham Beaton