Stirling stormed back from two down to take our unbeaten run to four matches with a five-goal show against Elgin.

The visitors struck through Kerr Hay and Shane Sutherland inside 20 minutes but the Binos were 3-2 in front by the interval thanks to Darren Smith, Neil McLaughlin and Dylan Mackin.

City had Jordan Lowdon harshly sent off for a challenge on Danny Jardine as the hour mark approached and goals from Smith and Dominic Docherty sealed it.

It was the first time since hammering Montrose 7-0 in February 2016 that we had netted five goals in a game. Smith bagged a hat-trick that night and marked his first start of an injury-plagued campaign with a double as we moved to within seven points of the promotion play-offs.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz was again without striker Mark Stewart and defender Lee Hamilton for the first outing since the 2-2 draw at Annan a fortnight earlier. Forthbank passed an 8.30am pitch inspection following heavy rain on Friday and in the early stages Albion probably wished it hadn’t.

Sutherland’s wonderful pass allowed Hay to score the opener then Sutherland seized on an error by Jason Marr and ran on to find the bottom corner.

We were back in it when on-loan Hamilton Accies midfielder Ronan Hughes picked out Smith and last season’s top scorer guided the ball past Thomas McHale from six yards.

If that was a routine finish, McLaughlin’s equaliser was a thing of beauty. The on-loan Motherwell man superbly skipped past a couple of defenders and lashed a low drive beyond McHale for 2-2.

The Elgin back four were breached again a minute before the interval. Smith hung up a perfect cross from the left for Mackin and he wasn’t going to miss with a controlled volley from six yards.

Lowdon was dismissed in 57 minutes for flooring Jardine on the touchline as the midfielder tried to go past him and the game was all but beyond Elgin five minutes later when defender Kyle Banner pitched a cross into the box  and Smith managed to squeeze a header into the net. Docherty grabbed a fifth goal in stoppage time, his fourth of 2018/19, with a neat turn and finish after good work by Jardine.

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Hughes, Banner, Marr (Barr 82), Jardine, Docherty, Mackin, Smith (MacDonald 84), McLaughlin (Thomson 69). Subs (not used): Ferrie (GK), Horne, Moon, Miller.

Scorers: Smith 25, 62, McLaughlin 32, Mackin 44, Docherty 90

Elgin City: McHale, Cooper, Lowdon, McHardy, Beattie, Omar (Miller 67), Cameron, McLeish (Loveland 76), Sutherland, Morrison, Hay (Farquhar 61). Subs (not used): Wilson, McGowan, Sopel, Gourlay (GK).

Scorers: Hay 15, Sutherland 19

Referee: John McKendrick

Crowd: 548