League 2 champions Queen’s Park condemned Stirling to a third successive home defeat as the battle for the play-off places intensified.

Albion’s loss, coupled with a big win for Elgin City at Stranraer, meant the Binos headed north for a huge match at Borough Briggs level on points with second-placed Edinburgh City but just three points ahead of Elgin in fifth.

Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side have been excellent on their travels this season but haven’t much enjoyed their recent Tuesday evenings at Forthbank, losing to Edinburgh, Stranraer and now Queen’s Park.

The Spiders had suffered their first defeat of the campaign on Friday night when a much-changed side were beaten by 1-0 Stranraer but they were along more familiar lines here and a double from former Stirling striker Salim Kouider-Aissa earned them all three points.

Substitute Sean Heaver pulled one back with eight minutes left but the title winners held on, to leave the Binos facing two massive games against Elgin and Stranraer.

Stirling went into this one without a number of players through injury, among them influential midfielder Jack Leitch, while top scorer Andy Ryan was on the bench.

There was a rare appearance for left-back Cammy Thomson and Dylan Bikey made his first start of the season. Teenage centre-half Will Greenhorn made his senior debut as a substitute for skipper Ross McGeachie with 15 minutes remaining.

Bikey’s pace almost led to a goal after 10 minutes when he muscled his way beyond the defence and knocked the ball towards the net but Stuart Morrison got back to clear.

The first half was keenly contested but there was little in the way of goalmouth action at either end and it was almost a surprise when the deadlock was broken in first-half stoppage time.

Dom Docherty conceded a free-kick just outside the box and Kouider-Aissa’s low shot seemed to deceive Blair Currie, who was perhaps unsighted by the wall – he got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

Stirling were close to an equaliser soon after half-time when centre-half Jordan McGregor saw his glancing header from a Kurtis Roberts corner come back off the bar.

Kouider-Aissa, on loan from Livingston, doubled the advantage for Ray McKinnon’s men in 65 minutes when he got away from McGeachie to head home a perfect cross from on-loan Celtic midfielder Luca Connell at the back post.

Substitute Bob McHugh had a header ruled out for offside then nodded wide when he might have scored before Stirling reduced the deficit. Heaver played in Bikey, whose low drive was partially saved by Willie Muir but the loose ball fell nicely for Heaver to net from close range.

It was only the 10th goal conceded by the Glasgow club in 20 matches this season and they rarely looked like giving up another in the remaining minutes to make it nine wins and a draw in 10 away outings.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie (Greenhorn 76), Eadie (Hamilton 26), Thomson, McGregor, K Roberts (Wilson 69), Moore (Creaney 76), Docherty, Byrne (Heaver 69), S Roberts, Bikey. Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Ryan.

Goal: Heaver 82

Queen’s Park: Muir, Doyle, Kilday, Morrison, Paterson, Longridge (McHugh 69), Gillespie, Carroll, Connell (Galt 69), Kouider-Aissa (Biggar 90), MacLean (Gillies 88). Subs (not used): Mullen (GK), Robson, Baynham, Lyon.

Goals: Kouider-Aissa 45, 65

Referee: Dan McFarlane