CITY'S hopes of an Irn-Bru Second Division play-off final place were dashed at Cliftonhill as Albion Rovers snatched a dramatic aggregate victory.
With the dour tie looking to be heading for extra-time the Coatbridge side grabbed a late, late deflected goal to clinch a 2-0 win and end City's stuffy resistance.
Over the piece City will be ruing missed chances in the first leg, although Stuart Leslie passed up a great chance to cancel out Albion's second half opener when keeper Gaston blocked the midfielder's parting shot four minutes from time.
City boss Ross Jack named the same 11 which started the midweek 1-0 home win against Rovers, while the hosts made a whopping six changes to their line-up.
The City faithful turned out in big numbers for the clash, with around 300 backing the side on a near perfect day for football.
And the Black and Whites took the confidence they gained from the Borough Briggs victory into the second leg as they comfortably held the Second Division side at bay in the first half without creating any real chances for themselves.
But City's advantage from the first leg always looked a slender one and, while it took the home side over an hour to grab the aggregate equaliser, the loss of a second in 90 minutes was a real sickener for the Black and Whites and their big band of followers.
There was little to choose between the sides in the opening exchanges, with half chances the best either could muster in an understandably tense affair.
Albion's Canning swung over a corner in 10 minutes, but Marriott's shot was effort was comfortably taken by Clark and 10 minutes later Moore fired wide after being set up by Niven.
The best chance of the half came for the home side in 38 minutes when a Boyle shot was blocked and fell kindly for Gemmell, but his close-range shot was pushed away by Clark.
While City had reached the halfway stage of the second leg with their single goal lead still intact there was always the fear that if they couldn't add to the advantage Albion could drag themselves back into the tie and that's how it turned out after the break.
Dangerman John GEMMELL'S first effort at the back post in 62 minutes was pushed away by Clark, but the rebound dropped for the Albion striker and he blasted home to square the tie.
With the game heading for an extra 30 minutes, City were hit by a real sucker punch on 90 minutes. A long throw-in by Russell was knocked on for Scott CHAPLAIN, whose overhead kick took a cruel deflection to leave Clark stranded and end City's gallant bid for a final place.
Albion Rovers – Gaston, Marriott, Russell, Stevenson, Reid, Donnelly, Canning, Boyle (Love 75), Chaplain, Pierce (Werndly 79), Gemmell. Subs not used – Fahey, Acqua, Gilmartin.
Elgin City – Clark, Niven, Durnan, Duff, Leslie, Cooper (MacPhee 76), Gunn, Cameron, Millar (O'Donoghue 85), Nicolson, Moore. Subs not used – Calder, Crooks, Beveridge.
Ref – F McDermott.
Att – 827.
(Report by Louise Shaw)