Stirling lost to Annan for the third time this season as Peter Murphy’s men strengthened their grip on second spot with a comfortable win on a day of glorious spring sunshine.

Albion went into the game on the back of wins over Cowdenbeath and Forfar Athletic but, after a tight first half, were soundly beaten.

Tommy Goss bagged a second-half double after Aidan Smith had opened the scoring just before the break as the visitors notched up their fourth straight win in cinch League 2.

Binos boss Darren Young was again without Paul McLean, Ray Grant and Mason Hancock. Jack Leitch was also out so Marc Laird came into the side in the only change from the team that performed so well in the 1-0 victory at Forfar.

Dale Carrick was forced off with an injury before the break and was replaced by Jordan McGregor, who returned after three matches out due to suspension. Recent signing James Grant made his debut as a late substitute.

Annan had scored 10 goals in their previous three matches and should have been ahead early on but Goss fired wide from six yards after a Tony Wallace shot had come back off the post.

Carrick dragged an effort wide when he might have done better but it soon became a midfield scrap with few chances few a goalless 45 minutes was in prospect until Stirling failed to deal with a long throw-in. Cameron Clark hurled the ball into the area, Albion couldn’t get it clear and Smith drilled a low shot under Currie for his 50th Annan goal.

It was all over with 18 minutes left when substitute Michael Garrity skipped away from McGregor and picked out Goss to net from close range.

The former Queen of the South striker took his tally for the season to 10 league goals a few minutes later when he got on the end of an Owen Moxon free-kick and swept a low shot past Currie from around 12 yards.

Stirling Albion: Currie, Dunsmore, Flanagan (Paterson 70), McGeachie, McNiff (Grant 83), Moore, Roberts, Laird (Banner 70), Carrick (McGregor 37), Francis (Cummins 83), Mackin. Subs (not used): Law (GK), Creaney.

Annan Athletic: Fleming, Barnes, Clark (Lowdon 61), Moxon, Douglas, Hooper, Wallace (Docherty 81), Hunter (Fleming 81), Smith, Goss (McCartney 81), Johnston (Garrity 67). Subs (not used): Connolly (GK), Steele, Swinglehurst, Anderson.

Goals: Smith 44, Goss 72, 76

Referee: Chris Graham

Crowd: 411