Title-chasing Montrose inflicted our biggest defeat for more than two years as they stayed behind leaders Peterhead on goal difference with a game in hand.
Lewis Milne grabbed a hat-trick for Stewart Petrie’s men, with Martin Rennie and Cammy Ballantyne also on target for the visitors, who claimed their third win at Forthbank this season.
We had skipper Willie Robertson sent off immediately after the second goal and the visitors took full advantage of the extra man to dish out our biggest beating since East Fife won 6-0 here in March 2016.
Defeats for Clyde and Elgin City mean we look all but assured of a play-off place but it was a desperately disappointing afternoon for Dave Mackay’s men.
Kevin Moon and Steven Noble replaced Sean Dickson and Ross Smith in the wake of the 3-0 loss at Elgin, with Darren Barr and Andy Black again ruled out.
There wasn’t too much between the teams in the first half but Martin Rennie made the breakthrough with a fine low finish from the edge of the box in 27 minutes and we were denied an equaliser when Darren Smith’s volley came back off the post.
Peter MacDonald missed a good chance early in the second half but the day unravelled when Milne found the net with a superb strike from distance in 63 minutes and Robertson then saw red.
Cammy Ballantyne hammered the ball past Craig Wight for the third goal with 15 minutes left and it soon got worse when Milne made space in the box and sent a low drive into the corner.
The former Forfar player completed his hat-trick in the third minute of added time. Keeper Craig Wight was arguably fortunate to avoid a red card for conceding a free-kick just outside the box and Milne’s shot took a deflection and sneaked in at the post.
Montrose: Fleming, Ballantyne, Steeves, Allan, Dillon, Bolochoweckyj (Fotheringham 77), Milne, Masson, Rennie, Templeman (Fraser 70), Redman (Watson 43).
Subs (not used): Millar (GK), Johnston, Webster, Hay.
Goals: Rennie 27, Milne 63, 78, 90, Ballantyne 75
Stirling Albion: Wight, McGeachie, Noble (Kavanagh 65), McNeil, Hamilton, Moon, McLaughlin, Jardine, MacDonald (Little 65), D Smith (Stanger 81), Robertson.
Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), R Smith, Dickson, Caddis.
Referee: Mike Roncone