David Cox scored the only goal as Cowdenbeath chalked up a third straight win to end our four-match unbeaten run in the Forthbank sunshine.
The Blue Brazil forward swept home a free-kick from just outside the box in 57 minutes after Jordan Allan had been sent off for bringing down Robbie Buchanan.
It was the fourth red card in games between the teams this season and we rarely looked like getting back on level terms as the visitors earned a deserved victory.
Kevin Rutkiewicz named the same team that started the 2-2 draw with Annan at Galabank and we began on the front foot. Darren Smith had a shot blocked, Cammy Thomson missed a good opportunity and Lee Hamilton came close following a corner but was denied by David McGurn.
Gary Bollan’s team responded and Cox rattled the post after getting in behind the defence and the same player was thwarted by Calum Ferrie. Cowdenbeath’s Jordan Allan then fired wide before there was a stoppage for a water break on a very warm Easter Saturday!
Thomson had an opportunity as half-time approached after latching on to a Kyle Banner pass but McGurn was out quickly to make the save.
The decisive moment came early in the second half when Allan flattened Buchanan on the edge of the box – it initially looked as if referee Barry Cook was going to brandish a yellow card but his final decision of red was the correct one.
We won with 10 men at Central Park last month but Cox’s fine finish from the free-kick – his fourth goal in four games – proved to be the clincher. Dylan Mackin returned from injury as a substitute but we struggled to create much on a disappointing afternoon, although we remain in fifth place after Queen’s Park lost to Annan.
Stirling Albion: Ferrie, Banner, Allan, McGregor, Hamilton (McGeachie 74), Jardine, Docherty (McLaughlin 76), Hughes, Thomson, McLear, Smith (Mackin 64). Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Horne, Glover, Wright.
Cowdenbeath: McGurn, Mullen, Todd, Pyper, Bollan, Deas (Swann 46), Cox, Miller, Allan, Buchanan, Malcolm (Fraser 86). Subs (not used): Lennox (GK), Sheerin, Sneddon, Connelly.
Goal: Cox 57
Referee: Barry Cook