Darren Smith bagged a double as we ended a six-match winless run to complete a home double over Berwick this season.

It was a vital victory for Dave Mackay’s men and lifted Stirling back into the play-off places, ending a run of four straight defeats at Forthbank since we beat Annan 3-2 on September 23.

Smith took his tally to a hugely impressive 18 goals as Albion gained revenge for a 1-0 defeat at Shielfield at the beginning of December and leapfrogged Annan in the process.

Callumn Morrison, Cammy Thomson and Andy Little missed out through injury and the team showed four changes from Tuesday’s 2-1 reverse at Stenhousemuir – Ross Smith, Lee Hamilton, Ross Kavanagh and Willie Robertson replaced Morrison, Liam Caddis, Kyle Banner and Sean Dickson.

We started brightly on a bitterly cold afternoon but there was a let-off when an Andrew Irving free-kick was missed by everyone and bounced off the post before being gathered by Cammy Binnie.

Albion took the lead midway through the first half when Binnie’s clearance was flicked on by Peter MacDonald and Smith raced clear to beat Robby McCrorie with a cool finish.

Darren Lavery was thwarted by Binnie before Robertson fizzed a 40-yarder just over the bar on the brink of half-time but we got the crucial second goal in 58 minutes when Smith lashed the ball home after Kavanagh had done well to tee him up.

Berwick, playing their fourth away match in a row, had some decent spells of possession and Binnie made good stops from Michael McKenna and Steven Thomson as we held on for a morale-boosting victory. Next up is a trip to in-form Peterhead, where we won 4-2 in August.

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Noble (Banner 74), McNeil, R Smith, Hamilton, Black (Caddis 21), MacDonald, D Smith (Dickson 68), Kavanagh, Robertson. Subs (not used): Foden (GK), McLaughlin, Davidson, McMullan.

Goals: D Smith 24, 58

Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Notman, McKinlay, Fairbairn, Lavery (Thomson 63), McKenna, Irving, Stewart (Phillips 67), Wilson, McDonald (Murrell 63), Godinho. Subs (not used): Brennan (GK), Fleming, Cook, Orru.

Referee: David Munro

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