Two goals from Paul Quinn either side of half-time looked to unsettle the Ibrox club, but they battled through what proved to be a difficult penultimate game of the season
The Glasgow club made the ideal start, thanks to Robbie Crawford’s opener, but their advantage was short-lived as Paul Quinn soon drew the Shire level from the penalty spot.
Stirling striker Kevin Turner was then dismissed for a bad foul on Ian Black, and David Templeton compounded the home side’s misery as he swept in a free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
Quinn’s header added a second for the Shire, but his side were unable to deny Black and Templeton, whose goals secured Rangers the three points in a commanding end to the match.
Rangers made three changes from last week's defeat to Peterhead. Lee Wallace was out with a knee injury, Chris Hegarty missed the game through illness and Fraser Aird found himself dropped to the bench.
The Third Division Champions were given a guard of honour as they walked out onto the pitch, and made themselves even more welcome within the opening six minutes, as Crawford met Andy Little’s cross to nod home.
Rangers won 6-2 on their previous visit back in November, and Quinn, who also scored from the penalty spot in that game, wasted no time in bringing his team level from 12 yards after teammate Kevin Turner was brought down by Andy Mitchell.
Stirling’s chances suffered a huge blow, however, with the dismissal of Turner after just half-an hour, in the wake of his high challenge on Rangers’ Ian Black. Rangers made their advantage pay in the 45th minute, as Templeton curled a free-kick round the wall and past Hay.
But Ally McCoist’s side failed to push on and were again confronted by the menace of Quinn, who notched his second header of the match after having been given free roam in the Rangers’ penalty area.
Little saw two efforts saved in quick succession as Rangers tried to make the extra man tell. Stirling finally cracked when Black skillfully evaded some tight defending to rifle a shot in off the far post.
Rangers’ youngster Daniel Stoney came off the bench and made an immediate impact, providing a decent ball for Templeton to fire in his second of the game.
His double sealed another hard-fought victory for Rangers, who will meet Berwick in a week’s time at Ibrox in their final game of the season.