Stenhousemuir fell flat at the home of promotion rivals Elgin for the second time this season.
Just as they did in their previous visit to Borough Briggs, the Warriors lost 2-0 and struggled to trouble a well organised home side.
In driving wind and sleet, Stenny couldn’t make the elements work to their advantage in the first half and 30 minutes of play passed by without incident.
The visitors had an escape on the half hour mark when Elgin striker Chris McLeish snatched at a chance and sent it off target. However three minutes later when the same player was unmarked in the Stenny box to pick up a Brian Cameron flick, he found the net via the post with a trundled left foot effort.
Scott Smith almost added a second Elgin goal with a snapshot two minutes later which narrowly skipped past.
It was a poor first half for the Warriors and a far improved show was needed after the break but it didn’t really materialise.
Certainly Stenny competed better and after Chris Smith saved well from Jon-Paul McGovern ten minutes in, the away side began to commit more men forward in search of an equaliser.
Veteran Colin McMenamin and Eddie Ferns came on for the ineffective Thomas Halleran and Innes Murray, and McMenamin almost latched on to a Ross Dunlop flick but Elgin’s on-loan Dundee United debut keeper Brett Long made a brave save at the striker’s feet.
Play became scrappy and ref Matt Northcroft produced a series of yellow cards for petty fouling. David Marsh forced Long to tip his header over the bar midway through the half, but an offside flag would have ruled the effort out in any case.
With time running out for the visitors they were caught on the break and Elgin sub Declan Byrne’s run into the box was halted by a Dunlop challenge for a penalty kick.
Thomas Reilly stepped up to send Smith the wrong way from the spot to seal a win which forced the home side into fourth place in the table, just behind Stenhousemuir.