Dougie Dalgleish was left to rue a first half in which his side went 3-0 down to East of Scotland Premier Division leaders Stirling University, but the Tynecastle boss was buoyed by their second-half comeback.
Tynie eventually lost 3-2, but goals by Kevin Brown and Ousman See ensured Stirling were made to sweat before securing a win that takes them further clear at the top of the top tier.
Dalgleish said: “It was an even first half, but Stirling took their chances and we did not. In the second half, there was only one team, but we couldn’t get another goal to get at least a deserved draw.”
Callum Connolly grabbed a late winner as Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale won 1-0 at Craigroyston to ensure that only two points separate themselves – in fifth place – from second-placed Tynecastle.
Under the Ainslie Park floodlights on Friday night, Paul Roberts and David Stewart notched Spartans’ goals in their 2-0 victory over Chris Smith’s Heriot-Watt University.
Smith, whose side lie second-bottom of the table, refused to become downbeat after the loss. He said: “We won’t get too disappointed, as we have been playing well recently so we’ll work hard this week to get ready for the trip to Civil Service next weekend.”