Elgin exited the Betfred Cup with a 3-0 defeat at Arbroath after failing to muster up a single shot on target for 89 minutes.
It took Gavin Price’s side until the final seconds before they had any sort of attempt on goal, with Andy McDonald’s audacious free-kick turned over by Arbroath keeper Derek Gaston.
That effort was literally all Elgin had to write home about.
A first half double from David Gold and a late strike from Scott Stewart was enough to seal a convincing win for Arbroath, one that put the Angus side into the last 16.
“We didn’t find the game easy,” said Gold. “We expected Elgin to make it difficult for us and they did but we played really well in the first half and, thankfully, I got the goals.
“I have a coaching school and I promised one of my players that I’d score a hat-trick and do a celebration for him.
“He told me I’d have to get in the team first, so that shows me how much faith he had in me!
“When I scored I tried to do a little Luis Suarez-style celebration and hopefully I’ll show my player it next time I see him.
“You have to breed positivity among the youngsters and I always believe in myself going into every game. Thankfully, it worked out for me.”
The game was significantly delayed after a match official was injured in the warm-up and a late replacement had to be called up.
Arbroath forced a succession of first-half corners and Gold scrambled them ahead from six yards on 30 minutes.
Gold made a darting run into to box to sweep home the second nine minutes later and put Arbroath 2-0 up at the break.
Elgin improved in the second period and began to gain some territorial ground on the hosts without truly troubling Arbroath.
And as the clock ticked down, Arbroath added a crucial third with Stewart racing on to a superb through ball from on-loan Aberdeen youngster Michael Ruth to place the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
“The delay didn’t really affect us,” added Gold. “It was strange because our manager Dick Campbell was up telling us jokes to keep us going and take our mind off it.
“We didn’t think about what happened elsewhere or how that could impact on our chances of qualifying. We just went out there to try and do a job and managed to get the result that mattered.”
Elgin travel to second placed Stirling Albion next weekend as they attempt to close the gap at the top of League Two, while Arbroath host Morton at Gayfield in the Championship.