In the hunt for a play-off place, Stirling would’ve been desperate to avoid 3 consecutive home defeats as they welcomed the Spiders to Forthbank.
The already crowned champions inflicted that feat on Albion though, as the pressure stacks on Rutkiewicz’s men to hold on to a top four finish.
Despite their unbeaten run coming to an end on Friday night, at the hands of Stranraer, Queen’s Park were believed to have little to play for.
But that didn’t look like the case, in fact far from it, as the league two winners looked a cut above and could’ve left Stirling with three or four on the scoresheet.
Prior to the game, McKinnon told the Queen’s media team: “It’s a game that we are looking forward to though and with the focus of looking to maintain that unbeaten run now gone, we can go out and play without any pressure.”
“One thing is for sure though, we will still be going there with a positive attitude very much looking to win the game.”
A goal either side of half-time for Salim Kouider-Aissa put Queen’s Park comfortably in front before substitute Sean Heaver got one back for the hosts.
A combination of injuries and the punishing schedule meant both sides made six changes from the weekend, and the adjustments showed in a safe first half display from both outfits.
The on-loan Livingston forward grabbed his first on the stroke of half-time, direct from a free-kick right on the edge of the Stirling box that Currie could only parry into the bottom corner.
In a far livelier second period, Kouider-Aissa secured his brace with a close-range header with 25 minutes to play, before Sean Heaver pulled one back late on as he tapped in from a saved Bikey effort.
Fellow Queen’s Park striker Bob McHugh almost put the game out of sight with two clear cut chances. The ex-Falkirk man added a third with a header, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag, before he headed a similar chance narrowly wide of the far post seven minutes later.
The only goal was as good as it got for a much-changed Albion side who again created very little in front of goal. Forward Dylan Bikey looked like Stirling’s most active route back into the game but in the end the Spiders thoroughly deserved the three points.
A trip to Elgin awaits the Binos on Thursday night before Stranraer visit Forthbank on Saturday afternoon, but the loss certainly hasn’t dampened Rutkiewicz’s spirit as he remains confident of Albion’s chances to reach the play-offs.
He said: “If we take care of business against Edinburgh, Elgin and Stranraer, we will be in the play-offs so it is certainly in our hands.”
We know what Elgin are about, they are a good team and very difficult to beat at home, but on our day, we are more than capable of beating any team in this league.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter – @Stirling_Albion