Arbroath boss Allan Moore was unimpressed by his side’s rousing comeback from 3-0 down to emerge with a point from an enthralling League Two tussle at Gayfield on Saturday.
A Shane Sutherland brace a few minutes either side of the interval and a Brian Cameron strike just after the hour appeared to put City on easy street.
But the Red Lichties hit back with goals from Paul McManus, Ricky Little and Bobby Linn before McManus had another effort ruled out for offside two minutes from the end.
Moore was scathing of a performance which leaves his side without a win from seven league matches since the beginning of the year.
He said: “It was diabolical. It was a good comeback and we might just have nicked it at the end, but we can’t give ourselves a pat on the back just because we came from 3-0 down.
“To be 3-0 down at home to anyone in this league is not acceptable.
“There will be changes for our next game against East Stirlingshire on Wednesday.
“I’m not beating about the bush. Today’s result came from people not doing their jobs. That’s us down to third in the league so we need to have a good look at ourselves individually and as a team.”
Elgin manger Jim Weir, who was formerly in the Gayfield hot seat, was also unhappy. He said: “It feels like a loss. We stopped matching runners, we lost a bit of composure and we lost our shape a wee bit.
“Shane Sutherland got two goals then went off with a neck problem just before Arbroath got their first goal from a corner.”
Sutherland opened the scoring in the 40th minute, converting a Daniel Moore cross from close range. The Elgin man added another, three minutes after the restart, when Arbroath sub Ricky Little slipped, allowing Sutherland to race through and shoot low beyond the helpless Marc McCallum.
Just after the hour Brian Cameron hit a third for the Morayshire men.
McManus pulled one back for the Red Lichties when he knocked home a Linn cross in the 65th minute, and the home side reduced the leeway in the 81st minute, Little bundling the ball over the line.
Two minutes later Linn blasted the ball into the net from 15 yards.
Arbroath thought they had won it in the 88th minute when Elgin keeper Stewart Black spilled a rasping Linn shot and McManus netted the rebound, but Calum Murray ruled it offside.