An outstanding first-half performance paved the way for an impressive victory at a windswept Ainslie Park as we stayed level on points with second-placed Elgin City.

Jack Leitch, Declan Byrne and Andy Ryan were all on target before the break and we held on for victory despite Robbie McIntyre and Liam Brown reducing the deficit in the second half.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz made four changes to the team that beat Cowdenbeath 1-0 the previous week, with Aldin El-Zubaidi, Leitch, Byrne and Scott Roberts replacing Dom Docherty, David Wilson (injured), Sean Heaver and Kieran Moore.

We were the better side from the start and deservedly went ahead in 24 minutes when Leitch fired past Calum Antell from 15 yards after good work by Ryan to create the chance.

Byrne got the second goal 10 minutes later after Ryan had headed against the post from close range and the roles were reversed soon after when our top scorer netted with a fine near-post header from an excellent Byrne delivery.

City, who had rattled in 12 goals in their previous three games, took until midway through the second half to get a meaningful shot on target but they were back in it when substitute McIntyre found the net from outside the box.

With 12 minutes left, ex-Queen’s Park midfielder Brown smashed a shot past Cammy Binnie from 20 yards to set up an anxious finish but we saw the game out to complete the first third of the season with just one defeat and move five points clear of James McDonaugh’s men.

Edinburgh City: Antell, Thomson, Balatoni, Laird (Jardine 85), L Henderson, Black (McIntyre 46), Hamilton (See 46), Brown, Campbell, B Henderson, Harris (De Vita 46). Subs (not used): Sharp (GK), Newman, Quate.

Goals: McIntyre 68, Brown 78

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, El-Zubaidi, McLean, McGregor, K Roberts, Ryan (Mackin 88), Banner, Byrne (Docherty 79), Leitch (Mitchell 90), S Roberts (Moore 79). Subs (not used): Currie (GK), Thomson, Heaver, Johnston.

Goals: Leitch 24, Byrne 34, Ryan 40

Referee: Duncan Williams