Stirling completed the first quarter of the Ladbrokes League 2 campaign with a seventh defeat of the season as 10-man Cowdenbeath leapfrogged us in the lower reaches of the table.

Blue Brazil skipper David Marsh scored the only goal after just six minutes and we struggled to create chances despite the hosts having trialist Gary Fraser sent off after half an hour.

Darren Barr was in caretaker charge following the departure of Dave Mackay and he recalled goalkeeper Cammy Binnie while there was a first start for striker Reg McLaren. Former Falkirk and Rangers player Alan Gow featured as a trialist while reserve duo Scott Miller and Cammy Hayes were on the bench. Barr, Peter MacDonald, Mark Stewart, Darren Smith, Willie Robertson and Lee Hamilton were all ruled out through injury.

We had won on our last four visits to Central Park but that run came to an end as Gary Bollan’s men claimed only their second League 2 victory of 2018/19.

McLaren had an early header tipped over by David McGurn but Albion fell behind when Marsh sent a low shot beyond Binnie after we failed to clear a corner. Fraser saw red in 28 minutes for a late tackle on Moon but we struggled to make headway against a well-organised defence.

Cammy Thomson fired wide when he might have done better and Neil McLaughlin had an effort saved. A superb pass from Gow released Jordan Allan but McGurn was out quickly to block. Generally, the home side looked comfortable and Marsh came close to a second goal when he headed over.

There is no game next weekend and we return to action at home to Queen’s Park in the second round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday October 20.

Cowdenbeath: McGurn, Mullen, Talbot, Marsh, Deas, Fraser, Cox (Skelly 90), Malcolm, Sheerin (Miller 37), Scott (Renton 80), Buchanan. Subs (not used): Goodfellow (GK), Scullion, Pyper, Smith.

Scorer: Marsh 6

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Thomson, Marr, Horne, Moon (Hughes 78), Jardine, Docherty, McLaren (McLaughlin 68), Gow, Allan. Subs (not used): Ferrie (GK), Fell, Banner, Miller, Hayes.

Referee: Stephen Brown

Crowd: 360