Darren Smith's quickfire treble spurs Stirling past Montrose
Darren Smith scored a hat-trick in four minutes either side of half-time as Stirling brought Montrose's good recent run to a shuddering halt with a comprehensive 7-0 victory.
Montrose had picked up eight points from their previous four matches to move to within a point of seventh-placed Stirling, but it was the home side who completely dominated at Forthbank.
The game was as good as over by half-time as two goals from Smith and another from Steven Doris saw the hosts - who themselves had recorded only two points from their last four games - leading 3-0 at the interval.
Smith's brace came in the 42nd and 45th minutes, and he completed his treble less than a minute into the second half with a brilliant 25-yard strike before Lewis McLear made it 5-0 two minutes later.
That was not the end of the scoring, though, as beleaguered Montrose shipped two more goals late on, Sean Dickson firing past Alex Tokarczyk in the 83rd minute before Doris completed the scoring 60 seconds later with his second of the match.