Declan Byrne came off the bench to score a stoppage-time equaliser in a dramatic finish at Forthbank and take the race for the play-offs to the final day.

Darryl Duffy’s last-minute header looked to have sealed the points for the Blues after Ross McGeachie had earlier cancelled out a Jordan Allan own goal but Byrne netted his first goal since December right at the end.

The result left Stirling in third place – where they have been for much of the season – but draws for Elgin City and Stranraer on Tuesday would see the Binos drop to fifth.

On a chilly afternoon, Albion went into this one without top scorer Andy Ryan and winger Kieran Moore, while midfielder Jack Leitch was forced off at the interval, by which time it was 1-1.

Stranraer won at Forthbank last month but the Binos started brightly and Dylan Bikey was causing problems for the visiting defence albeit the end product wasn’t quite there.

Central defender Jordan McGregor twice went close with headers – one over, one saved – but it was Stevie Farrell’s side who broke the deadlock in 28 minutes when on-loan Darvel defender Allan diverted a Thomas Orr cross from the left flank into his own net.

It was a goal out of nothing and Albion were rocked. The Stair Park side had two good chances to increase their advantage before McGeachie’s powerful header from a David Wilson free-kick on the brink of half-time gave ex-Peterhead keeper Greg Fleming no chance.

The second half was tight and tense. There might have been no fans in the ground but the anxiety in the dug-outs was obvious and there was barely an opportunity of note until the closing stages.

Sean Heaver could have become the home hero with eight minutes left after being sent clear by Wilson but Fleming made a crucial save to block his shot.

It was big moment in the game and there was worse to follow with 90 seconds of normal time left. Cammy Elliott did well on the right and hung up a cross for Duffy to score with a perfect header – it was the 37-year-old’s seventh of the campaign but his first since December 19.

That goal would have sent Stranraer into the play-offs as they seek an immediate return to League 1 but, three minutes into stoppage time, Dylan Mackin’s header hit the inside of the post and fellow sub Byrne was on hand to convert the rebound from close range.

Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Allan, El-Zubaidi, McGregor, K Roberts, Hamilton, Wilson (Mackin 84), Heaver, Leitch (Docherty 46), Bikey (Byrne 88). Subs (not used): Binnie (GK), Banner, Greenhorn, S Roberts, Thomson, Creaney.

Goals: McGeachie 44, Byrne 90

Stranraer: Fleming, Roberts, Burns, Sonkur, Hamill, McManus, Elliott, Millar, McManus, Hilton (Duffy 71), Orr (Devitt 90). Subs (not used): Jamie Walker (GK), Josh Walker, Taylor.

Goals: Allan og 28, Duffy 89

Referee: Calum Scott