Stirling suffered a second successive single-goal defeat and again had a man sent off late in the game at Central Park.
Skipper Ross McGeachie saw red in the 1-0 reverse to Queen’s Park and this time it was fellow centre-half Kyle Banner who was dismissed with seven minutes left.
We should have taken a point from this trip to Fife but missed a couple of good chances and were undone when Kris Renton’s neat flick from a Jamie Pyper cross four minutes after the interval proved to be the difference.
The Blue Brazil had the opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot in 73 minutes after right-back Craig Truesdale tripped Robbie Buchanan but the former Hearts midfielder saw his kick saved by Blair Currie.
Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz made two changes to the team that lost to Queen’s Park, with Truesdale and Lewis Hawke replacing the suspended McGeachie and Paul Willis in a 4-4-2 formation that saw Paul McLean captain the side and move into centre half. New signing Darryl Duffy was on the bench and made his debut as a substitute.
We had plenty of the ball in the first half and Mackin missed a good chance after being picked out by Cammy Thomson but neither keeper had much to do before ex-Alloa striker Renton pounced from close range to score with a clever finish.
Albion should have equalised when Mackin’s header from a corner was well saved by Kevin Dabrowski and Banner failed to convert the rebound before Cowden’s Buchanan was fortunate to escape a second booking for a late tackle.
Dabrowski, on loan from Hibs, pulled off another smart save as we chased an equaliser but our hopes of rescuing a point receded when Banner, already on a yellow card, slipped and pulled back a Cowdenbeath forward.
The defeat leaves us bottom of the early Ladbrokes League 2 table as we prepare to travel to Methil on Tuesday to play East Fife in the second round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.
Cowdenbeath: Dabrowski, Pyper, Swann, Todd, Barr, Miller, Cox, Buchanan, Allan (Taylor 46), Thomas, Renton. Subs (not used): Valentine, Sneddon, Pollock, Connelly, Glass, Whyte (GK)
Scorer: Kris Renton 49
Stirling Albion: Currie, Truesdale, Lowdon, Thomson (Willis 69), Banner, McLean, Jardine, Nicoll, Mackin (Duffy 58), Wilson, Hawke. Subs (not used): Scott, Docherty, Wright, Peters, Binnie (GK)
Referee: Peter Stuart