Stirling ended a run of five straight defeats in style with an emphatic victory against Berwick at a wet and windy Forthbank.
Neil McLaughlin, Dylan Mackin and Danny Jardine all scored their first goals of the season and we should have won by a bigger margin.
Albion even managed to miss two penalties in the space of a minute midway through the second half – Sean Brennan saved from Neil McLaughlin but tripped the on-loan Motherwell man as he went for the rebound. Trialist Michael McIndoe then stepped up but smashed his effort against the bar!
Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz was without Calum Ferrie, Darren Barr, Lee Hamilton, Mark Stewart and Peter MacDonald while Berwick were also missing half a dozen players because of injury and suspension for their first visit to Forthbank since a 2-0 defeat in January.
The Borderers beat us 1-0 at Shielfield on the opening day but they were dismantled by an impressive showing here. We played some great football at times and were rewarded with a positive result to take into next week’s game against Clyde at Broadwood.
Mackin headed against the bar from a corner before we took the lead in 16 minutes. Man of the match Jardine delivered a perfect cross from the right and McLaughlin tucked the ball home at the back post.
It was 2-0 and all but over 10 minutes later. Dominic Docherty’s delivery was met by former Falkirk striker Dylan Mackin and he steered a shot past Brennan.
Berwick had a couple of chances but Albion were largely dominant. Jardine had an effort disallowed for offside just after half-time then headed in the third goal from McIndoe’s corner. The former Scotland B cap, 39 next month, showed his quality despite several years out the senior game.
Docherty and Jardine were both thwarted by the Berwick keeper and the latter fired wide late on when he should have scored as we secured our third league win of the campaign to move three points clear of our visitors and five in front of bottom club Albion Rovers.
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Moon (Hughes 70), Horne (Banner 36), Marr, Jardine, Docherty, Mackin, McIndoe (Smith 78), McLaughlin.
Subs (not used): Law (GK), Thomson, McLaren, Rutkiewicz.
Scorers: McLaughlin 16, Mackin 26, Jardine 56
Berwick Rangers: Brennan, Orru, O’Kane, Trialist (Healy 46), Willis, Phillips, Cook, Scott (Murrell 73), Hurst (Murray 82), Ogilvie, Brown.
Subs (not used): Allison (GK), McIlduff, Trialist
Referee: Grant Irvine