Stirling gave it everything and emerged with plenty of credit from Friday’s live TV Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against the cinch Premiership leaders at Ibrox.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men ultimately ran out comfortable winners to set up a fifth-round trip to Annan next month but the Binos frustrated their hosts for half an hour.

Around 800 travelling fans gave the players great backing throughout and the attendance of 37,916 was the biggest ever for a Scottish Cup tie involving Stirling.

We had drawn 0-0 on our last visit to Ibrox for a Third Division fixture in March 2013 and lost 1-0 here in the only previous Scottish Cup encounter in February 1978.

Manager Darren Young made two changes to the team that drew 3-3 at Stranraer, with Kieran Moore and Adam Cummins replacing Dale Carrick and Martin McNiff. Paul McLean and Marc Laird were again absent due to injury.

Rangers showed eight alterations in the wake of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Aberdeen but there were plenty big names in the starting line-up, including skipper James Tavernier and Ianis Hagi, although the Romanian was forced off early on.

The Light Blues dominated possession but Albion defended stubbornly and reached the half-hour mark with their goal intact, helped by a terrific save from Blair Currie to scoop the ball off the line when Cedric Itten looked certain to score.

The deadlock was broken in 31 minutes when Juninho Bacuna and teenage substitute Alex Lowry created an opening and the latter found the bottom corner with a cool finish from 16 yards for a debut goal.

Jordan McGregor was then unfortunate when the ball struck his arm following a corner and Tavernier converted the penalty but the right-back failed to score with a second spot-kick soon after.

Mason Hancock tripped Brandon Barker and Tavernier went the same way but this time Currie pulled off a fine save; a moment to cherish for the former Rangers youth player.

Earlier, Ray Grant had sent an effort narrowly over and Moore almost took advantage of some slack defending but Itten made it 3-0 on the hour mark when he fired a low shot beyond Currie from six yards after being played in by John Lundstram.

Substitute Dylan Mackin forced a good stop from Jon McLaughlin but Fashion Sakala had the final say in the closing minutes when he cut in and fired a shot into the corner.

Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Lundstram, Goldson, Hagi (Lowry 15), Itten, Simpson, Barker (Roofe 67), Bacuna, Balogun (King 60), Sakala. Subs (not used): McCrorie (GK), Bassey, Sands, Wright, McCann.

Goals: Lowry 31, Tavernier pen 37, Itten 59, Sakala 86

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Hancock (Creaney 86), Cummins, McGregor, Grant, Moore (Banner 71), Roberts, Francis (Mackin 75), Leitch, Flanagan. Subs (not used): Law (GK), Heaver, Carrick, McNiff.

Referee: John Beaton

Crowd: 37,916