Leaders Cove Rangers ran out deserved winners at Forthbank as we slipped to the foot of the table after a fourth straight defeat.

Fraser Fyvie and Matty Smith were on target for Paul Hartley’s men before Josh Peters pulled one back late on to end our League 2 goal drought but Cove were largely in control and the scoreline doesn’t reflect their superiority.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz made one change to the team beaten at Edinburgh City last week, with Kyle Banner, back from suspension, replacing Craig Truesdale. Dylan Mackin, James Creaney, Gareth Rodger and Jordan McGregor all missed out through injury.

On a warm afternoon, with not too many chances in the early stages, Cove took the lead after 27 minutes when a ball was threaded through for recent signing Fyvie and the ex-Dundee United midfielder got away from a defender before knocking it past Blair Currie.

Last season’s top scorer Mitch Megginson missed two good chances either side of the visitors scoring their second goal seven minutes after half-time. Blair Yule got clear on the right and picked out on-loan Dundee United forward Smith to net from close range.

Albion had struggled to make any impact on the game and it was only in the closing stages that we caused the SPFL new boys any problems. Substitute David Wilson was unlucky to see his 25-yard drive crash back off the crossbar before Peters found the corner with a fine finish in 84 minutes.

Cove held on to move a point clear at the top while we are three points adrift at the bottom going into our final August fixture away to Albion Rovers next Saturday.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie (Truesdale 59), Lowdon, Nicoll, Banner, McLean, Jardine (Thomson 46), Docherty (Wilson 34), Duffy, Willis, Peters. Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Wright, Heaver, Hawke.

Scorer: Peters 84

Cove Rangers: McKenzie, Milne, Scully, Strachan, Yule, Megginson, Masson (Redman 78), Higgins, Glass (Robertson 78), Smith (Ross 69), Fyvie. Subs (not used): McCafferty (GK), Kelly, Redford, Antoniazzi.

Scorers: Fyvie 27, Smith 52

Referee: Kevin Graham

Crowd: 605