CITY exited the Ramsden's Cup at the first hurdle on the opening day of the new season as Arbroath took the honours in a goal-fest at Borough Briggs today.
The Red Lichties notched a 7-5 victory, with Lee Sibanda and Darren Gribben grabbing hat-tricks for the dominant visitors.
The Black and Whites, 5-1 down at the break, hit back in the second half with goals from Stuart Leslie (2), Daniel Moore and Dennis Wyness, but by then the Second Division side had the game wrapped up.
Manager Ross Jack, without holidaying Mark Nicolson and Olympic Games duty serviceman Paul Millar, was given the boost of injury doubts Jamie Duff and Stuart Leslie being declared fit to play.
New signing Dennis Wyness was also available again, but the ex-Aberdeen, Hearts and ICT striker was only named on the bench as defender Sean Crichton made his competitive debut for City.
The sign of things to come started in just 16 minutes as Sibanda opened the scoring and Craig Gunn levelling three minutes later, but hopes of an early season scalp were quickly doused as the Lichties opened up a commanding lead by half-time.
The scoring started in 16 minutes when a Brennan cross was fumbled by Elgin trialist keeper Neil Duffy and landed at Lee SIBANDA, who fired low into the bottom of the net.
Just three minutes later Elgin got themselves an equaliser with some good play as Stuart Leslie played the ball forward to Craig GUNN and last season's top scorer slotted past keeper Hill.
However, it only took two more minutes for Arbroath to get back into the lead as a cross by Sibanda was poorly cleared by Elgin. The ball landed at the feet of Steve DORIS and he fired home to set the visitor's up for a storming finish to the half.
They got their third on 27 minutes as SIBANDA beat from range to beat Duffy for his second and then hit his third in 42 minutes after being sent clear by Sheerin.
Lichties new signing Darren GRIBBEN got in on the scoring just before the break as he latched on to a ball from Doris to calmly round Duffy to give his side a comfortable interval lead.
Ross Jack's half-time talk must have fired up his players as they stormed back and scored two quick-fire goals through Stuart LESLIE and Daniel MOORE to narrow the gap to 5-3.
Hopes of any possible comeback for City, however, were in 66 minuted as GRIBBEN tapped in from close range and three minutes later the same player made it 7-3 as he sent Duffy the wrong way from the penalty spot to complete his hat-rick.
To their credit City stuck to their task and pulled two goals back through WYNESS and LESLIE, but it was all too little too late to prevent Arbroath progressing into the second round.
Elgin City – Duffy, Niven, Crighton, Duff, McMullan (Wyness 72), O'Donoghue Hallford 72), McLean (Beveridge 45 ), Cameron, Moore, Gunn, Leslie. Subs not used – Black, McHardy.
Arbroath – Hill, Baxter, Brennan, Keddie (Travis 49), Kerr, Robertson, Sheerin, Sibanda Rennie 63), Currie, Doris (Holmes 72), Gribben. Subs not used – Bullock, Prince-Wright.
Ref – B Colbin.
Att – 561