Berwick ended our unbeaten away record on a disappointing afternoon at a chilly Shielfield as we slipped two points behind leaders Montrose.
Michael McKenna’s early goal was the difference between the teams as the Binos failed to score for the first time in League 2 this season but Dave Mackay’s men have the chance to go top on Tuesday night when we face promotion rivals Peterhead at Forthbank.
This was a below-par performance from Stirling but for all that we missed two great chances and Berwick keeper Robby McCrorie, on loan from Rangers, was named man of the match.
It was our first game since the 1-1 draw at Clyde a fortnight ago and there was a debut for on-loan St Johnstone left-back Cammy Thomson. Liam Caddis returned from injury and Ross Smith and Peter MacDonald made the bench but Willie Robertson and Steven Noble again missed out.
Shooting down the Shielfield slope, and with both sides wearing their away kits, Robbie Horn’s team took the lead after just seven minutes. Aaron Murrell’s shot on the turn was blocked and the ball broke to McKenna, who lashed it into the net with the aid of a slight deflection.
Albion almost equalised soon after but McCrorie did well to push away a 25-yarder from Neil McLaughlin and got down well to deny top scorer Darren Smith on the follow up. Ross Kavanagh then missed a clear opportunity when through one-on-one, albeit at an angle, but his finish lacked conviction and McCrorie made the save.
The hosts, beaten 5-1 away to Elgin last week, hit the bar with a header before half-time but chances were scarce in the second period. Cammy Binnie did well to prevent a second goal before the follow up was fired wide while Callumn Morrison had a shot blocked at the other end, then his dangerous cross was pushed round the post when Darren Smith was lurking.
Berwick’s win – their fourth at Shielfield this term – mean there are now just seven points covering the top seven teams in Ladbrokes League 2.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Notman, McKinlay, Fairbairn, Murrell (Lavery 74), McKenna (Thomson 87), Phillips, Irving (McDonald 82), Stewart, Wilson, Godinho.
Subs (not used): Fleming, Donaldson, Scullion, Brennan (GK).
Goal: McKenna 7
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Thomson, McNeil, Hamilton, Black, Morrison, Caddis, McLaughlin (Dickson 72), D Smith, Kavanagh (MacDonald 59).
Subs (not used): Banner, R Smith, Stanger, Cameron, Foden (GK)
Referee: Scott Lambie