Darryl Duffy scored twice as we made it three wins on the trot and move to within a point of the play-offs.

Dom Docherty was also on target before Jordan Holt and Tommy Muir struck for Annan, who remain in the top four but have now lost five of their last six matches. This was our first win at Galabank since the memorable 5-3 success in the play-offs in May 2014, although we had drawn on our last three visits.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz gave a debut to on-loan Rangers keeper Nicky Hogarth and the 18-year-old did well in his first SPFL appearance. Owen Stott was the trialist keeper on the bench, with Blair Currie and Cammy Binnie both ruled out.

Midfielder Kevin Nicoll returned after a one-match ban in place of Danny Jardine but the former Clyde man limped off in the 90th minute, by which time we had used all three subs.

On a cold afternoon in the south of Scotland, Annan enjoyed a bit more of the ball in a fairly even first half but we made the breakthrough when Duffy latched on to Dylan Mackin flick and beat keeper Lyle Avci with a superbly-executed lob from the left side of the penalty area.

The second goal arrived eight minutes after the interval. Docherty was brought down by Holt inside the box and Duffy converted the penalty inside the left-hand post for his eighth goal of the season.

It looked all over three minutes later when Docherty smacked a fine low shot past the keeper after a perfect pass from Mackin put him in the clear. We were denied a fourth goal when Mackin scored with a header from a corner but the referee had spotted an infringement.

Holt pulled one back for Peter Murphy’s men in 64 minutes when he pounced from a few yards out after Steven Swinglehurst had nodded the ball into the danger area. Muir headed home in the first minute of stoppage time to ensure an anxious finish but we held on for a third successive away victory going into next week’s home match with Elgin City.

Annan Athletic: Avci, Douglas, Ballantyne, Bradley, Barr (Holt 36), Swinglehurst, McLean, Wilkie, Muir, Watson, Joseph (Emmerson 76). Subs (not used): Sonkur, Walker, Currie.

Goals: Holt 64, Muir 90

Stirling Albion: Hogarth, McGeachie, Creaney, Nicoll, McLean, McGregor, Wilson, Docherty (Scott 87), Wright (Jardine 74), Mackin, Duffy (Bikey 80). Subs (not used): Stott (GK), Banner, Truesdale, Heaver.

Goals: Duffy 21, pen 54, Docherty 57

Referee: David Dickinson

Crowd: 402