Stirling kept their promotion hopes very much on track with a narrow but deserved win over their local rivals on Tuesday evening.

Midfielder Jack Leitch scored the only goal early in the second half as Albion came out on top in this rearranged fixture that was abandoned at Ochilview on January 2 with the Binos leading 1-0.

It was switched back to Forthbank due to the shortened season as the Warriors had already hosted the 2-2 draw between the teams back in October.

Stirling went into this one on the back of a 1-1 draw at Elgin City while Stenny were beaten 3-1 at Edinburgh in their latest outing. They ended that game with 10 men and it was the same story on Tuesday when substitute Tommy Muir saw red for a stamp on keeeper Cammy Binnie in the closing minutes.

On a perfect spring evening, the first half was a competitive and keenly contested but clear chances were hard to come by. Stirling had more possession and more territory but were unable to cause too many problems for on-loan Hibernian keeper Paddy Martin.

The breakthrough came three minutes after half-time and it was a terrific goal. Leitch sent Kurtis Roberts away on the left then scored from seven yards after Roberts had got beyond a defender and set him up perfectly.

Ryan had a header saved and the Binos’ top scorer then saw his angled drive fly just wide of the far post as we chased a second goal. Kieran Moore had a shot blocked and substitute Dylan Mackin had a header cleared off the line as the clocked ticked down.

Stenhousemuir rarely looked capable of conjuring up an equaliser against a resolute defence that included on-loan Darvel skipper Daryll Meggatt, with Aldin El-Zubaidi injured and Ross McGeachie unavailable.

Midfielder David Wilson should have sealed the victory in stoppage time but blazed over after Martin had denied sub Sean Heaver but one goal proved enough.

Cammy Binnie barely had a save to make but had to be alert right at the end to tip over a cross-shot and Stenny sent keeper Martin up for the corner but it came to nothing.

Stirling Albion: Binnie, Meggatt, Allan, Banner, McGregor (Eadie 62), K Roberts, Ryan (Heaver 88), Wilson, Byrne (Mackin 72), Leitch, Moore. Subs (not used): Currie (GK), Hamilton, Docherty, S Roberts, Kirkpatrick, Thomson.

Goal: Leitch 48

Stenhousemuir: Martin, Tiffoney, Kane, Corbett (Muir 60), Yeats, Brydon, Biabi, Blair (Spence 78), Tapping, Collins (Hopkirk 74), McGuigan. Subs (not used): Erskine (GK), Hodge, Docherty, Halleran, Fairley, Brown.

Referee: Graham Grainger