Peter MacDonald bagged a double as we edged a dramatic game at Central Park to move up to third place in Ladbrokes League 2.
It was a third straight win for Dave Mackay’s men and was also our fourth successive victory on this ground but we had to dig deep to claim all three points.
The first half was pretty much a non-event but the second period saw three penalties and by the end the yellow card count had reached a dozen.
Stirling were unchanged from the XI that saw off Elgin City 3-1 at Forthbank the previous week while Gary Bollan’s men included central defender Bryan Gilfillan as a trialist.
Neither keeper had much to do in a poor first half of almost no notable goalmouth incident, with the best chance probably falling to Cowden’s Aiden Malone, who made a hash of the finish.
Cowdenbeath looked better than a team adrift at the foot of the table and we were struggling to create openings before earning a 65th-minute spot-kick. Blair Malcolm carelessly impeded Ross Kavanagh and Darren Smith stepped up but our top scorer saw his effort pushed away by David McGurn.
The second penalty arrived a few minutes later. Smith got in behind the defence and was tripped by Scott Rumsby after his initial shot had been saved. MacDonald took the responsibility this time and sent the keeper the wrong way.
The Blue Brazil equalised with a penalty of their own nine minutes from time. A cross from the right was over-hit but the linesman had spotted a tangle between Gilfillan and Darren Barr and Harvey Swann made a confident job of the kick.
MacDonald then pounced with five minutes left after Neil McLaughlin had made the most of some slack defending to pick out the ex-Clyde striker for his seventh goal of the campaign.
There was still time for a late flurry of yellow cards as we held on for an important win ahead of a trio of home games against Annan Athletic, in-form Clyde and Edinburgh City.
Cowdenbeath: McGurn, McInally, Swann, Gilfillan, Rumsby, Miller, Cox, Malcolm, Malone (Reilly 46), Smith (Syme 79), Buchanan.
Subs (not used): Penman (GK), Hornby, Fotheringham, Luke, Muirhead.
Goal: Swann pen 81
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Hamilton, McNeil, Barr, Moon (Stanger 75), Jardine, MacDonald, D Smith, Kavanagh (Black 88), Robertson (McLaughlin 83).
Subs (not used): Fallens (GK), Banner, R Smith, Caddis.
Goals: MacDonald pen 71, 85
Referee: Peter Stuart