Our first visit to McDiarmid Park since January 2008 ended in a heavy defeat as St Johnstone sealed top spot in Betfred Cup B.
We headed to Perth still in with a chance of reaching the last 16 but Tommy Wright’s men proved much too strong and an upset was never on the cards.
Central defender Steven Anderson’s early goal set the tone and Steven MacLean and Liam Craig also struck before the interval.
Substitute David Wotherspoon added the fourth in stoppage time, by which time we had been reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Chris Smith had been stretchered off after a very heavy and awkward landing which knocked him out.
It looked a serious situation but thankfully the Albion No 1 was discharged from Perth Royal Infirmary on Saturday evening.
Binos boss Stuart McLaren made one change to the team that beat Elgin 4-1 in midweek, with Darren Smith replacing Marc McKenzie.
Saints, beaten on penalties by Brechin on Tuesday, fielded a strong team and took the lead inside four minutes when Anderson headed in Craig’s corner.
MacLean had the ball in the net but the flag was up then Joe Shaughnessy blazed over but St Johnstone scored again when a corner was flicked on for MacLean to nod in.
We were struggling to make any impact and, although Bryan Hodge came close from 30 yards, it was 3-0 just before the break when Craig found the corner with a perfect header from MacLean’s cross.
Darren Smith had a good chance to reduce the deficit on the hour mark before Saints missed several good opportunities to add to their lead – Smith made some fine saves and Graham Cummins was thwarted by an offside flag when he tapped home.
All three subs had been committed when Smith suffered his injury 10 minutes from the end and Eddie Ferns took over in goal but there was nothing he could do when Wotherspoon swept the ball into the net from 18 yards in stoppage time.
St Johnstone: Mannus, Scobbie, Anderson, Shaughnessy, Easton (Wotherspoon 60), Alston, Millar (Paton 31), Swanson (Coulson 70), Craig, MacLean, Cummins.
Subs (not used): Davidson, McKay, Kane, Clark (GK).
Goals: Anderson 4, MacLean 33, Craig 43, Wotherspoon 90
Stirling Albion: C Smith, R Smith, McMillan (Scott Davidson 50), Verlaque, Forsyth, Hodge, Dickson, McCue (McKenzie 46), Henderson (Olanrewaju 74), D Smith, Ferns.
Subs (not used): Mills, Kavanagh, Docherty, Binnie (GK).
Referee: Barry Cook