Alloa came from behind to claim their ninth derby win a row but there was much to be encouraged about in terms of our performance at the Indodrill Stadium.
David Wilson fired us in front with a stunning free-kick early in the second half but goals in the last 20 minutes from Kevin O’Hara and Liam Buchanan earned Peter Grant’s men all three points.
It means we finish bottom of Betfred Cup Group C but this was a huge improvement on the 3-0 reverse to Elgin City in our previous fixture and we were arguably unlucky not to at least force a penalty shoot-out.
Only 412 were there to see it, with many fans opting to stay away in protest at the £18 adult admission price, and around 60 or so travelling supporters made the journey.
On an extremely warm night, Binos boss Rutkiewicz made five changes to the team soundly beaten at Borough Briggs. Skipper Ross McGeachie returned and there was a debut as a substitute for former Clyde midfielder Kevin Nicoll, whose combative qualities should be an asset this season.
Alloa started on the front foot and O’Hara had a header well saved by Cammy Binnie. Buchanan dragged a shot wide when he should have done better but Paul McLean almost opened the scoring when his header from a Paul Willis free-kick slipped wide.
We kept our shape well and almost forced an Alloa own goal before taking the lead in 51 minutes when Danny Jardine was brought down 20 yards out and Wilson smashed the free-kick into the top right-hand corner.
A rare derby success looked on the cards but, with the contest into the final quarter, the home side equalised. Buchanan crossed from the right and ex-Falkirk forward O’Hara pounced from six yards.
Stirling almost restored their lead immediately when a defensive lapse saw the ball cleared off the line but Alloa grabbed the clincher with five minutes remaining.
Binnie did well to push away an Andy Graham header but Buchanan – who returned to the Indodrill Stadium from Raith Rovers this summer – was alert to nod the rebound into the net.
Alloa Athletic: Henry, Robertson, Dick, Taggart, Graham, Hetherington, Cawley, Flannigan, Buchanan, Stirling (Trouten 58), O’Hara. Subs (not used): Brown, O’Donnell, Aloulou, Mitchell, Murray, Wilson (GK).
Goals: O’Hara 69, Buchanan 85
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Lowdon, McLean, McGregor (Banner 39), Thomson (Mackin 82), Jardine, Docherty, Hawke, Wilson (Nicoll 77), Willis. Subs (not used): Truesdale, Scott, Wright, Currie (GK).
Goal: Wilson 51
Referee: Grant Irvine