Stirling Albion fought back from a goal down to claim a valuable three points with a 2-1 win over Berwick Rangers.

Blair Henderson had put the visitors into an early lead but Ross Smith equalised, before Sean Dickson gave the Binos an advantage they would not surrender with a controversial penalty.

The result moves the Binos into the playoff places for the first time this season, jumping above Annan and Queen’s Park.

Stuart McLaren, unsurprisingly, named an unchanged starting lineup from the team which thumped Montrose in midweek, while they were handed a boost in the shape of Ross McGeachie and Craig Beattie, who returned to take their places on the bench after missing the last two games with injuries.

The Binos were dealt an early setback when they fell behind with nine minutes played. Willie Robertson lost the ball deep inside his own half, and Blair Henderson cut inside and fired the ball into the bottom corner.

But a couple of minutes later they were level. Mark Lamont worked himself into a great crossing position on the right before sending a lovely ball over to the back post. It found the head of the onrushing Smith, who powered the ball beyond Kevin Walker to level the scores.

Shortly after, the turnaround was complete and it came in dramatic circumstances. Darren Smith’s run took him through the heart of the Berwick defence, and he got his shot away before being felled by Jordan McGregor’s last-ditch challenge. The ball slipped just wide, and the referee, who had waited to see if it found the back of the net, pointed to the spot.

Once he had done that, there was only one possible outcome for McGregor, and the centre-back was given his marching orders with more than three quarters of the game still to play. Eventually, Dickson stepped up and slotted his penalty into the bottom corner with aplomb.

That did nothing to stop the visitors playing positively and Michael McKenna drew a good save from Chris Smith, before the keeper made a terrific double-save to deny Henderson and Dylan Stevenson.

Albion almost began the second half in the best possible fashion. Walker made a great save to deny Steven Doris before Darren Smith was denied with the follow-up.

The Binos really began to turn the screw and Doris should have added a third, hitting the post after Ross McMillan’s header had been saved.

Moses Olanrewaju was desperately unlucky not to score his first Albion goal when Graeme Beveridge blocked his goalbound effort on the line, before Doris’ shot was blocked by a number of bodies.

Olanrewaju had another chance to make the points safe in the closing stages when he raced onto McLear’s perfectly-weighted pass, but Walker, who like his opposite number Smith had enjoyed a superb game, rushed out to smother the danger.

However, one goal proved to be enough and Albion will be delighted to have claimed three points which could prove vital come the end of the season.

Stirling Albion: C. Smith, Johnston, Forsyth, Robertson, R. Smith (McMillan), Buist, Lamont (Olanrewaju), McLear, Doris, D. Smith, Dickson (Mazel).