Danny Jardine and Darryl Duffy got the goals as we extended our good run to just one defeat in nine matches.

It was a crucial win and lifted us six points clear of bottom club Brechin and to within five points of the Galabankies, who travelled north on the back of victories over Cowdenbeath and Brechin.

The only negative was a red card for Duffy in the last minute – the veteran striker kicked out at defender Ayrton Sonkur and now faces a two-match ban.

Binos boss Kevin Rutkiewicz welcomed back Dylan Bikey after several weeks out but Josh Peters and Gareth Rodger were joined on the sidelines by midfield trio David Wilson, Kevin Nicoll and Dom Docherty. Defender Kyle Banner returned to the team as a holding midfielder and performed well in that role as we notched up back-to-back home wins without conceding a goal.

Stirling had the better of the first half and Duffy and Banner came close with headers before we broke the deadlock after 38 minutes. Sean Heaver provided the assist when he hung up an inviting cross from the left and Jardine beat Chris Smith with a diving header for his first goal since the 1-1 draw with Clyde 12 months ago.

Annan were more of a threat in the second half and enjoyed a good spell before we scored our second goal in 68 minutes. Ross McGeachie did the spadework on the right and Bikey helped the ball into the path of Duffy, who took a touch and smacked a shot into the corner for his third goal of the season.

Blair Currie made two good saves to deny Tommy Muir as Annan tried to hit back but the meanest defence in League 2 kept another clean sheet – the only goal we have conceded in the last four league matches was Mitch Megginson’s penalty for Cove Rangers.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Creaney, Banner, McLean, McGregor, Jardine, Bikey (Truesdale 89), Heaver (Wright 81), Duffy, Willis (Thomson 90). Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Scott, Mackin, Hawke.

Goals: Jardine 38, Duffy 68

Annan Athletic: Smith, Barr, Walker (Ballantyne 52), Bradley, Sonkur, Swinglehurst, McLean, Wilkie (Holt 87), Nade, Watson (Muir 46), Flanagan. Subs (not used): Avci (GK), Griffiths, Joseph, McLear.

Referee: Chris Graham

Crowd: 512