Peterhead ended Albion’s five-match unbeaten run with a comprehensive victory in our last away fixture of 2018.

Jack Leitch and Rory McAllister had the Blue Toon two goals in front at the break and Derek Lyle and Cammy Eadie extended their advantage before Ronan Hughes pulled one back.

Jim McInally’s men remain five points behind leaders Edinburgh City with a game in hand while we stay eighth in the table going into next weekend’s Forthbank clash with Cowdenbeath.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz made one change to the team that drew 1-1 with Queen’s Park at Hampden in our last outing a fortnight ago, with Evan Horne replacing at Kyle Banner at right-back. Lee Hamilton and Mark Stewart were again ruled out through injury.

It was a cold but calm afternoon in the North East for Albion’s fourth visit to Balmoor in the space of 11 months, the most recent of which was a 2-0 Betfred Cup victory in July.

Peterhead had won at Forthbank in Ladbrokes League 2 in August and were ahead after 13 minutes. Willie Gibson’s cross was only partially cleared and Leitch controlled the ball before sending a volley into the bottom corner.

Darren Smith diverted the ball wide from a Dylan Mackin cut-back when he looked set to equalise then Hughes had an effort cleared off the line. It could have been 1-1 but instead it was soon 2-0 to the hosts. Poor defending allowed McAllister to nip in and take the ball round Binnie before scoring from a tight angle for his 10th league goal of the season.

Mackin had a free-kick tipped over by Greg Fleming at the start of the second half but it was all over in 55 minutes when Lyle was left completely unmarked to head home a Jamie Stevenson corner.

It got worse shortly after the hour mark when Eadie’s header from another Stevenson corner was judged to have crossed the line before being cleared but on-loan Hamilton Accies midfielder Hughes struck from close range in the closing minutes to reduce the deficit.

Peterhead: Fleming, Eadie, Dunlop, Stevenson (Home 78), Ferry, Brown, Dow, Leitch (Kavanagh 57), W Gibson, McAllister, Lyle (McLean 66). Subs (not used): R Gibson (GK), McCracken.

Goals: Leitch 13, McAllister 28, Lyle 55, Eadie 63

Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Allan, Hughes, Horne, Marr (Banner 32), Jardine, Docherty, Mackin (McLaren 82), Smith, McLaughlin (MacDonald 57). Subs (not used): Ferrie (GK), Thomson, Rutkiewicz.

Goal: Hughes 87

Referee: Chris Graham

Crowd: 620