Russell Dingwall flashed in Elgin City’s winner, but left the ground praying an ankle injury would not rule him out next weekend.
The former Ross County midfielder capped another fine individual performance with the crucial strike from a free-kick against unlucky Annan.
That kept City within four points of leaders Queen’s Park.
It was tough in rain-lashed conditions, but the skid of the ball certainly helped Dingwall’s 57th-minute hit find the net.
The day soured somewhat personally in the aftermath, though.
Dingwall said: “I just rolled my ankle and I’m hoping it will be all right.
“Hopefully the swelling goes down over the next couple of days and I can maybe be back to training on Thursday and be all right for Saturday.
“I’m not into getting injured, not when we’ve had so long without football and there is so much to play for in the league.
“I hope I’ll be able to shake it off for next weekend.”
The hard work of the Elgin ground staff paid off, with Borough Briggs passing a morning inspection despite persistent heavy rain falling in Moray.
Elgin manager Gavin Price named an unchanged starting line-up from the 5-2 win over Cowdenbeath a week earlier.
Early pressure from Elgin City saw Kane Hester fire wide of the near post and a Dingwall cross from the right drew a Josh Peters header, only for Alex Mitchell to make a fine save low to his left.
Mitchell then dealt with a powerful long range Dingwall effort as City’s bright start continued.
Annan had an opening on 24 minutes when teenager Kyle Fleming was given space to shoot, but he missed the target.
Neat play by Hester set up Rory MacEwan for a curling 25-yard shot which Mitchell saved, while Elgin keeper Tom McHale made his first save just before the half- hour mark, getting down to deal expertly with a low Owen Moxen effort.
A minute later, Annan thought they had a penalty when Sopel fouled Mark Docherty on the right edge of the penalty box.
Referee Graham Grainger initially pointed to the spot, but, after consulting his assistant, he then awarded a free-kick inches outside the box.
Peters was inches away with a curling 25-yard free-kick on 36 minutes for the home side, as the lively play continued in the rain.
It was Elgin’s turn to claim a penalty seconds after half-time when Hester screamed in vain that he had been fouled while chasing MacEwan’s pass into the box.
The home winner arrived on 57 minutes when Dingwall’s free-kick from the left evaded everyone and skidded in the wet conditions right through and inside the far post.
It took some dogged defending from the Moray side to see out the 90 minutes in worsening conditions, with five minutes added on, but they made it.
Manager Gavin Price said: “These are the kind of games you’ve got to win if you’re going to make the play-offs.
“I don’t think we were anywhere near our best, but, in the difficult conditions, I’m really pleased for these guys as the challenge set to them is to win games like this.”