Stirling Albion manager Dave Mackay admits Stenhousemuir fully deserved their 2-1 victory at Forthbank.
Mark McGuigan’s first-half penalty broke the deadlock and Jamie Longworth scored for the Warriors before Darren Smith pulled one back with his 14th goal of the season.
Mackay said: “It was flat right from the first minute. It was really poor. They played as if it was a derby game and we played like it was a friendly match. We got a wee lift with the goal but we didn’t deserve anything – Stenhousemuir were better than us all over the pitch. Our lack of consistency from week to week is baffling.
“Cammy Binnie did all right but I can’t think of any other player who won their individual battle out there. It was poor defending from Ewan McNeil to concede the penalty and the second goal was incredible coming from a long thrown-in and Ross Smith heads the ball straight to Jamie Longworth.”
Warriors boss Brown Ferguson said: “I thought we were outstanding. We controlled the game and created a lot of chances. We’ve got good players and we can mix things up – it was a good response to losing at Elgin last week. I don’t know if it was our best performance but it’s up there given that we were away to the leaders.
“Chris Smith didn’t have much to do until the last 10 minutes when he came and got a few crosses and he had a fantastic save but it would have been a travesty if that had gone in. I thought Harry Paton was fantastic for us and the strikers were great as well. If we could just have been a bit more ruthless we could have scored a few more goals.”