Elgin gained some revenge for two previous defeats to Albion this season with a narrow victory at Forthbank as we missed the chance to move into the play-offs.
A draw would have taken us into the top four for the first time this season but Gavin Price’s men now occupy that place thanks to goals either side of the interval from Shane Sutherland and Kane Hester. Jordan McGregor pulled one back but we couldn’t conjure up an equaliser.
Stirling showed one change to the team that beat Annan 3-2 at Galabank, with Danny Jardine replacing the injured Kevin Nicoll in midfield. Trialist keeper Owen Stott was again on the bench as Blair Currie and Cammy Binnie are long-term absentees.
In-form Darryl Duffy – with five goals in his last two games and one short of a double century in his career – missed a great early chance when he skewed the ball wide after a defensive error but Elgin generally looked the sharper team in the first half.
On-loan Rangers goalkeeper Nicky Hogarth made a good save from Daniel Mackay and Sutherland hit the post with the follow-up. The deadlock was broken five minutes from half-time when Brian Cameron sent Sutherland clear and he coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Hogarth for his 24th goal of the campaign.
It was 2-0 early in the second half. Sutherland proved too much for the defence and he laid the ball off to Hester, who fired low into the net for his 16th goal in 2019/20.
McGregor got one back in 59 minutes when he nodded home after Stephen Bronsky headed against his own crossbar – keeper Tom McHale should have made the save but he allowed the ball to go through his legs and over the line.
Substitutes Sean Heaver and Dylan Bikey gave the Binos a lift but both missed good chances before
David Wilson hammered an angled shot inches off target as Elgin held on to end our three-game winning run and inflict a fourth straight home loss on Kevin Rutkiewicz’s team.
Stirling Albion: Hogarth, McGeachie, Creaney, Jardine, McLean, McGregor, Wilson, Docherty, Wright (Bikey 53), Mackin (Scott 75), Duffy (Heaver 53). Subs (not used): Trialist (GK), Banner, Truesdale, Peters.
Goal: McGregor 59
Elgin City: McHale, Cooper, Harper, Graham, Bronsky, MacEwan, Mackay (O’Keefe 71), Cameron, Hester (Osadolor 79) Sutherland, Omar (Dingwall 65). Subs (not used): Kelly (GK), Sopel, Wilson, Hay.
Scorers: Sutherland 40, Hester 50
Referee: Mike Roncone