Stirling were held to a draw on Tuesday night and had to come from behind to earn a point against the Coatbridge club.
Andy Ryan’s second-half spot-kick levelled the scores after Brian Reid’s men had gone ahead through a Matthew Aitken header late in the first half.
Aitken then missed a penalty 12 minutes into the second half when his kick was saved by Blair Currie and Ryan showed him the way 10 minutes later when he beat-on loan Hearts keeper Harry Stone for his ninth goal of 2020/21.
The teenager – who impressed for Stirling as an emergency signing against Queen’s Park on the opening day of the season – was in outstanding form and pulled off a number of top-class saves.
The glorious spring warmth that bathed the stadium for the 1-0 win over Stenhousemuir a week earlier was replaced by an icy wind on Tuesday evening for the second meeting of the teams this season – it was 1-0 Stirling at Cliftonhill back in November.
Rovers were roundly beaten 3-0 on their previous visit to Forthbank in November 2019 but they were a much tougher proposition this time round and the draw keeps them six points clear of bottom club Brechin City and also above Cowdenbeath, who they defeated on Saturday.
Binos boss Rutkiewicz made a raft of changes from the 1-0 loss to leaders Queen’s Park as he again freshened things up during this relentless run of matches but Stirling struggled for any fluency in a difficult first half.
Chances were at a premium for the best part of half an hour but the opportunities then began to appear. Aitken missed a good chance for Rovers and Stone made a wonderful save from Ryan before Kyle Banner headed wide from a corner when he should have done better.
The opener came four minutes from the interval when Lewis Wilson got away from Ross McGeachie on the left and hung up a cross for Aitken, who nodded the ball just inside the left-hand post.
The former Forfar Athletic striker could have put the game to bed after David Wilson carelessly conceded a penalty but Currie came to the rescue.
Dylan Mackin – one of three half-time substitutes – was thwarted by Stone but Ryan coolly converted his penalty midway through the second half after referee Chris Graham pointed to the spot following a challenge by Jamie Leslie on Jack Leitch.
Rovers always posed a threat on the break but the hosts carved out some good openings, only to find Stone in inspired form. On-loan Darvel midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick and substitute Kurtis Roberts were both foiled by the 18-year-old as it ended all square.
The result leaves Stirling fourth in the table, two points behind second-placed Elgin City, and edges them four points ahead of fifth-placed Stranraer, who were beaten at Borough Briggs.
Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie (S Roberts 46), Meggatt (Eadie 46), Banner, McGregor, Kirkpatrick, Ryan, Wilson (K Roberts 78), Byrne (Mackin 46), Leitch, Moore. Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Hamilton, Docherty, Thomson, Heaver.
Goal: Ryan pen 67
Albion Rovers: Stone, Lynas, Sideserf, Robinson, Gallacher, McKernon, C Wilson, Leslie, Aitken, L Wilson (Doherty 84), Stevenson. Subs (not used): Henry (GK), Fagan, Dolan, Moran, Baker, Kouame, Cox, Ecrepont.
Goal: Aitken 41
Referee: Chris Graham