Elgin manager Jim Weir fears his side’s play-off hopes were wrecked by referee Grant Irvine as his 10-man side tumbled to defeat to new League 2 leaders Arbroath.
Weir claimed hat-trick scorer Ryan McCord took a dive to win the free kick that led to the opening goal and claimed the decision to send off Jamie Reid – who made it 1-1 – was pivotal in the outcome.
Elgin now need beat Cowdenbeath and hope Clyde to take something from their visit to Montrose to sneak into the League 2 play-offs.
And while he hailed Arbroath for moving into top spot ahead of next week’s final day, Weir can’t help but wonder what might have been for his one-time league challengers.
“We’ve been badly let down by decisions,” said Weir. “I’ve had a look again at the incident that led to the free kick at their first goal and it was a blatant dive.
“Things like that seem to go against us and the sending-off also had an impact on the game.
“But we haven’t lost out because of this game alone. We haven’t been good enough since losing our leading scorer Shane Sutherland and Arbroath have.
“Well done to them for sticking in there and getting to the top of the league and to Forfar for being there on the last day.”
The mood in the Arbroath camp could not be more different.
Manager Dick Campbell’s side has clawed back an 11-point deficit from Forfar in just two months and now knows it is 90 minutes away from being crowned champions.
Campbell said: “There’s no better time to go top of the league than with one game to go.
“We now know if we go down to Stirling and win then we are champions. We will take a big crowd with us to Stirling and if they give us the sort of backing they have recently then they can play a huge part for us. I’m proud of my players for getting us to this stage, but we’ve got to make sure we get that win next week.”
McCord netted the first from a free kick before Reid levelled with a half-volley. McCord’s turn and shot made it 2-1 and he completed his treble from two yards after Reid was red-carded for dissent.
Jassem Sukar headed into his own net to make it 3-2 but Arbroath held on.