Leaders Montrose came from behind to increase their lead at the top as we slipped to sixth place in Ladbrokes League 2 after our first defeat at Links Park since December 2012.
A stunning goal from Darren Smith – his 21st of the season and 50th overall for the club – gave Albion a deserved interval lead but the home side struck twice in the last 15 minutes.
Substitute Craig Johnston equalised and Matty Allan headed the winner from a corner as Stewart Petrie’s side bounced back from last week’s loss to Clyde.
Dave Mackay’s men have the chance to move into the top four on Wednesday night when we welcome bottom club Cowdenbeath to Forthbank in a rearranged fixture.
Sean Dickson, Steven Noble, Ross Smith and Andy Little all missed out through injury in what was our first game since the 4-3 defeat at Peterhead a fortnight ago but there was a debut for midfielder Kevin Moon.
On a bright and breezy afternoon on the North Sea coast our first-half display was very impressive. Strong at the back and a threat going forward we took the lead in 14 minutes thanks to a wonderful goal from Darren Smith.
He carried the ball from the halfway line, beating a couple of defenders on the way, and could have played in Ross Kavanagh to his left. Instead he smashed the ball in off the bar from 25 yards for one of the goals of the season.
We had chances to add to our lead, with Smith at the heart of them. He set up Peter MacDonald, whose close-range shot was fumbled by Allan Fleming and looked like it might have been over the line before the keeper retrieved the situation.
MacDonald then fired over after Smith was thwarted while at the other end we limited Stewart Petrie’s side to very little and they made two changes at the break.
Willie Robertson came close with a 40 yarder but in general Montrose did more of the pressing in the second half and Chris Templeman nodded wide from a corner.
There was a big moment in the game in 72 minutes when Robertson appeared to be tripped in the box but was instead booked for diving and three minutes later the Gable Endies were level. Cammy Binnie made a terrific double save but the ball broke to Johnston and he rammed it into the net from six yards.
The clincher came with eight minutes remaining when central defender Allan headed a corner from the left past Binnie as we failed to repeat our success here in September.
Montrose: Fleming, Masson, Steeves, Allan, Dillon, Bolochoweckyj (Fotheringham 71) Webster, Watson (Johnston 46), Fraser (Rennie 46), Templeman, Callaghan. Subs (not used): Millar (GK), Hay, Campbell, McLaren.
Goals: Johnston 75, Allan 82
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Hamilton, McNeil, Banner (Stanger 90), Black (McLaughlin 83) Moon (Caddis 67) MacDonald, D Smith, Kavanagh, Robertson. Subs (not used): Fallens (GK), McMullan, Cameron, Vezza
Goal: D Smith 14
Referee: Grant Irvine