Hat-trick hero Darren Smith says he is delighted to be back playing and scoring regularly for the Binos and hopes he can help propel the Forthbank side to the League Two title.

The forward helped himself to a treble in last Saturday's victory over Montrose and he pledged to do even more to repay the faith the club showed in him during his injury hell.

Smith told Stirling News Sport: “It's very nice to get a hat-trick. It's very rewarding because the past season or so has been a tough time. It's been a bit of a nightmare because I've had a couple of problems with my knee, and there were a couple of points where I thought that was it.

“The manager and the medical staff have always shown a lot of faith in me. I have always said that if I could get back fit I would be able to produce. Hopefully now I can move forward. I think over the past few games I have managed to show what I am all about, scoring a few goals and creating chances. It's looking really positive moving forward.”

Smith has spent much of the last year battling injury but believes his problems are behind him, and now he is focused on helping the Binos bounce straight back to League One.

He said: “I've taken a couple of different measures to stop the problem coming back. I'm feeling good and strong so I am not really worried. I hope I can focus now on playing and contributing to the team. We have a great squad and we are really starting to show our worth. We want to keep pushing and challenging for the league.”

Albion take on league leaders Annan at Forthbank on Saturday, and the 27-year-old says a good result would lay down a marker for the other teams in the division.

Smith added: “It would send out a message if we won on Saturday but it will be difficult because Annan are top of the league for a reason. They are a good solid team so all we can do is go out, perform well and try to get the three points. If we can do that everyone will be happy.”