Stirling bounced back from last week’s Scottish Cup exit to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale by claiming a comfortable win at Central Park.
Goals from Darren Smith, Peter MacDonald and on-loan Partick Thistle striker Neil McLaughlin made it four wins out of four on the road in Ladbrokes League 2 and extended our lead at the top of the table to five points at the end of the first quarter.
Binos boss Dave Mackay made six changes – Cammy Binnie, Lee Hamilton, Ross Smith, Willie Robertson, Callumn Morrison and MacDonald replaced Mark Foden, Steven Noble, Scott Davidson, Sean Dickson, Ross Kavanagh and McLaughlin.
This was a fairly comfortable win – our third in the space of 12 months here – against a Cowdenbeath team who have now scored only one goal in their last nine league and cup games and are a point behind Edinburgh City at the foot of the table.
After a fairly quiet opening spell, Liam Caddis set up Darren Smith to score his 13th goal of the season with a confident finish beyond David McGurn with the half-hour mark approaching.
We doubled our lead five minutes later when Callumn Morrison’s terrific delivery from a free-kick was headed home by MacDonald. The veteran striker had earlier picked up a knee knock and was replaced by McLaughlin but it doesn’t look to be anything serious.
Binos keeper Binnie didn’t have too much to do but saved from Cammy Muirhead as Billy Brown’s side enjoyed their best spell of the game before we scored the third goal midway through the second half. Darren Smith provided the assist and McLaughlin made no mistake with his first goal for the club.
It was a solid performance throughout the team as we recorded our first shut-out since August and we now look forward to welcoming local rivals Stenhousemuir to Forthbank next weekend.
Cowdenbeath: McGurn, McInally, Rutherford, Mullen, Rumsby, Syme, Buchanan, Stirling, Garden (Morris 59), B Smith (Denton 63), Swann (Muirhead 46).
Subs (not used): Miller, A Smith, Connelly, Penman (GK).
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Hamilton, McNeil, R Smith, Robertson, Black, Morrison (Kavanagh 79), Caddis, D Smith, MacDonald (McLaughlin 35).
Subs (not used): Noble, Banner, Dickson, McMullan, Foden (GK).
Goals: D Smith 28, MacDonald 33, McLaughlin 67
Referee: John McKendrick