A stunning solo goal from Darren Smith in the 14th minute put Stirling ahead. The league leaders looked set to lose until Craig Johnston pounced to level in 75 minutes. Six minutes later Montrose took the lead when Matty Allan headed home to seal what could be a pivotal three points.
Nearest challengers Peterhead suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat at the hands of Clyde for whom David Goodwillie struck a late winner.
After a poor first half, the second period saw scant improvement until Barry Cuddihy teed up Goodwillie to earn victory which eases their relegation fears.
Third-placed Stenhousemuir’s slim hopes of automatic promotion were further damaged by a 2-0 loss at Elgin City who rise to fourth.
Brian Cameron set up Chris McLeish for the opening goal in the 33rd minute and a deserved second for the hosts materialised through Thomas Reilly’s spot-kick in the final minute.
Edinburgh City held on for a 3-2 win over Annan Athletic which steers the capital side nine points above bottom spot.
Ashley Grimes netted two in the opening period and Scott Shepherd notched City’s third soon after. Aidan Smith’s penalty and Blair Henderson’s goal did restore some pride for Annan.
Bottom club Cowdenbeath are now nine points adrift following a 3-1 reverse against Berwick Rangers at Central Park.
Jack Hamilton headed Berwick in front and, although Harvey Swann’s penalty put Cowdenbeath level at half-time, strikes from Steven Thomson and Ouzy See clinched it for the Borderers.