Darryl Duffy scored twice as we notched up our fifth straight away win to move to within four points of the third-placed Blue Brazil.

Dylan Bikey and Max Wright were also on target against Gary Bollan’s men, who were 4-1 down by the time they had full-back Chris Hamilton sent off in 64 minutes.

This part of the country had escaped the very worst of Storm Dennis but conditions were still difficult in the wind and rain. Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz named the same team beaten 3-1 by Queen’s Park as we sought revenge for a 1-0 defeat at Central Park in August. Blair Currie, Cammy Binnie, Jordan Lowdon and Dylan Mackin were all out but Kevin Nicoll returned to the squad.

Stirling went ahead after 12 minutes when Bikey found the net with a clever finish after Paul McLean had driven the ball towards goal following a corner. We were soon 2-0 up when Duffy scored his 200th career goal with a superb lob over Joshua Rae from the right edge of the box.

Dom Docherty missed a good chance for a third goal before Cowden got one back. Left-back Fraser Mullen found the bottom corner with a 20-yard free kick – it was the first time we had conceded an away league goal in the first half of a match all season.

Eight minutes before the break Duffy made it 3-1, showing a good striker’s instinct to score from six yards after Jordan McGregor had nodded a corner back into the danger area.

It was all over on the hour mark when Wright did well to make space and his low shot from 15 yards had too much for the keeper – the former Annan man had his first goal of the season.

Cowdenbeath were reduced to 10 men when Hamilton, on loan from Hearts, saw red for a late challenge on McLean but the home side avoided conceding any more goals, although David Wilson sent a free-kick just over the bar.

We are now three points behind fourth-placed Queen’s Park as we prepare to welcome local rivals Stenhousemuir to Forthbank on Saturday.

Cowdenbeath: Rae, Mullen, Hamilton, Todd, Barr, Miller, Buchanan, Morrison (Cox 48), Allan (Swann 72), Renton, Taylor (Thomas 82). Subs (not used): Whyte (GK), Valentine, Pyper, Glass.

Scorer: Mullen 32

Stirling Albion: Hogarth, McGeachie, Creaney (Hughes 80), Banner, McLean, McGregor, Wilson (Willis 82), Docherty, Wright, Bikey, Duffy (Peters 85). Subs (not used): Stott (GK), Jardine, Nicoll, Heaver.

Scorers: Bikey 12, Duffy 18, 37, Wright 60

Referee: Gavin Ross

Crowd: 328