The final scoreline was incredibly harsh on East of Scotland Premier Division, side who were well in the game until the home side netted a second-half third from the penalty spot.
Captain Shaun Rutherford was inches away from giving the visitors a third minute lead which would’ve sent the large travelling support bonkers, but two goals within ten minutes from a Dylan Mackin header and Jack Leitch’s fine finish had the Binos in command.
Rutherford would go close again following an enterprising free-kick. Stevie Thomson, who netted a stunning long range dead ball strike in last season’s second round tie against East Fife, looked set to go for goal – well that was what the home side thought anyway – but he played in left-back Rutherford who cut inside and sent a curling effort just wide of Stirling goalkeeper Blair Currie’s left upright.
Striker Mackin netted a second-half penalty after Ben Miller was adjudged to have felled Leitch, before defender Jordan McGregor fired high into the net to put Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side out of sight.
“We are deflated,” said Elliot. “We created more than enough to certainly get more out of that game than what we got, I don’t think anyone could walk away from that thinking that was a 4-0 game.
“It’s the big moments in the game which we didn’t take [advantage of] and they did take, we just have to take it on the chin. Next Saturday [league match at home to Crossgates] was always going to be a bigger game for us, we will rest up and recover, and go again.
“There was three or four instances in the first half where there was a half second where we just didn’t get there or we didn’t get that break. I think they had two chances in the first half and scored two goals, and went in 2-0 ahead at half-time.
“Within the first three minutes of the second half we had two chances back to back that we didn’t take. Once they scored the penalty, I don’t know if it was a penalty or not, but that left us with a mountain to climb. I can’t ask for more of the boys, they gave everything and they did everything that we asked of them.”
Tranent suffered a blow ahead of kick-off when goalkeeper Kevin Swain was ruled out in the warm-up with a hand injury, forcing Elliot to throw in 19-year-old Dean Beveridge.
Elliot added: “It was a big blow, but Dean came in and did really well, and he should be proud of how he handled himself and what he had to do in the game.
“I don’t think it had any outcome on what happened, he couldn’t have done anything about the goals.”
Stirling Albion: Currie, McGeachie, Banner, Laird (Roberts), McGregor, Grant, Moore (Cummins), Flanagan, Heaver, Leitch (Scally), Mackin
Tranent: Beveridge, Stevenson, Rutherford, Mitchell, Miller, Thomson (Knox), Wringe, Murphy, Docherty (Somerville), Anderson (Greig), Donaldson.