Stirling kicked off the new season with a thrilling win against their League 1 opponents in Group A of the Premier Sports Cup.
Former Annan Athletic winger Nathan Flanagan scored a fantastic debut double – the second with virtually the last kick of the ball – after Cove had hit back from two down with a Fraser Fyvie brace.
Ex-Morton midfielder Rabin Omar earlier opened the scoring for the Binos at Balmoral Stadium as they upset the odds against Paul Hartley’s men, in a section also containing Inverness CT, Hearts and Peterhead.
Stirling were without Dale Carrick, Ross McGeachie, Kurtis Roberts and Ray Grant. Adam Cummins was one of five players making their debuts and was on the right of a back four, with Martin McNiff at left-back.
The opener came in 28 minutes from Omar’s composed finish low past Stuart McKenzie after good work by Kieran Moore on the right wing.
The second goal 10 minutes after half-time was outstanding. Flanagan broke down the right and, although he had other options available, the winger cut inside and found the net with a fine finish in off the far post.
Cove had looked flat for long spells but summer signing Iain Vigurs picked out Fyvie, who fired past Blair Currie from a tight angle midway through the second half to put the tie back in the balance.
The ex-Aberdeen and Dundee United midfielder levelled things up with a superb strike into the top corner from 18 yards with eight minutes left and Cove were pressing hard for a winner in the closing stages.
The penalty shoot-out for a bonus point was looming when Stirling broke quickly and Flanagan managed to knock the ball past McKenzie despite being bundled over by a defender for a dramatic 94th-minute winner.
Cove Rangers: McKenzie, Neill, Milne (Thomas 67), Ross, Strachan (Scully 20), Yule, Draper, Vigurs, Watson, Fyvie, McAllister (Megginson 63). Sub (not used): Gourlay (GK).
Goals: Fyvie 68, 82
Stirling Albion: Currie, Cummins (Banner 55), McNiff, McLean, McGregor, Laird, Leitch, Omar, Moore (Heaver 90), Flanagan, Mackin (Bikey 75). Subs (not used): Law (GK), Creaney, Greenhorn.
Goals: Omar 28, Flanagan 55, 90
Referee: Barry Cook