Peter MacDonald grabbed a hat-trick as Stirling thrashed 10-man Rovers to climb to fifth in the table and stay six points outside the play-offs after Annan beat Peterhead.
Darren Smith and Dylan Mackin (penalty) were also on target as we notched up our biggest away league win since the 8-2 demolition of Stranraer on this weekend 10 years ago.
Rovers’ only success this season was 3-0 against Stirling back in September but they were up against it after striker Declan Byrne was sent off for kicking out at keeper Calum Ferrie midway through the first half.
Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz made three changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Queen’s Park, with Jordan McGregor making his debut in place of Kyle Banner and Archie Thomas and Mackin replacing Max Ashmore and Neil McLaughlin.
Dom Docherty was suspended and Lee Hamilton, Kevin Moon and Mark Stewart still sidelined. On-loan Dundee United midfielder Thomas was forced off with a knee injury just before half-time.
For most of the first half of a game played on a difficult pitch after a day of heavy rain, neither keeper were called into action. There had barely been a half chance before MacDonald’s header from a Smith cross sneaked past Peter Morrison after 38 minutes.
It was a different story in the second half. Stirling upped the tempo, moved the ball quickly and made the extra man count. We played some good stuff despite the bobbly surface and could have won by an even bigger margin in the end.
MacDonald headed the second goal from an Ashmore corner seven minutes after the restart and the 38-year-old quickly completed his hat-trick after a mix-up in the defence allowed him to knock the ball into the empty net for his eighth goal of the season.
Smith netted the fourth with a low shot after being set up by Danny Jardine and missed a good chance for a fifth goal before Mackin came close with a couple of headers. In the last minute, Morrison tripped Smith just inside the box and Mackin thumped the penalty in off the underside of the bar to make it 5-0.
It’s just one defeat in 11 games now as we go into Saturday’s home match against a Clyde team who are unbeaten in the same period and are on a run of six straight victories.
Albion Rovers: Morrison, Hardie, Clarke, Wharton, Krones, Fagan, Reilly, Fotheringham (Ross 65), Byrne, Escuriola (Watson 73), Rodgers (Phillips 28). Subs (not used): Potts (GK), Wilson, McMahon, Kearney.
Stirling Albion: Ferrie, McGeachie, Allan, Hughes, Horne, McGregor (Banner 60), Jardine, Thomas (Ashmore 45), Mackin, Smith, P MacDonald (Wright 73). Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Thomson, McLaughlin, M MacDonald.
Scorers: P MacDonald 38, 52, 56, Smith 64, Mackin pen 89
Referee: Graham Beaton