Paul Millar scored the only goal of the game as Elgin beat 10-man Albion Rovers in the first-leg of their play-off semi-final.
Brian Cameron came close to giving the hosts an early lead but failed to beat Derek Gaston with a tame effort.
Both sides were restricted to speculative efforts as they struggled to find a breakthrough.
The visitors' hopes of a result were dealt a blow just before the half-hour mark when Michael O'Byrne saw red for his challenge on Millar.
And City made the advantage count in the 53rd minute when Millar rose highest to head home Daniel Moore's cross.
They went on the offensive after taking the lead but could not add to their tally as the Wee Rovers held firm to give themselves a chance in the return leg.
Elgin City: Clark, Niven, Duff, Nicolson, Durnan, Cameron, Leslie (O'Donoghue 80), Cooper, Moore (Macphee 80), Gunn, Millar (Crooks 72). Subs Not Used: Calder, Beveridge.
Booked: Nicolson. Goal: Millar 53.
Albion Rovers: Gaston, Reid, Ciaran Donnelly, O'Byrne, Russell, McStay, Ferry, Lumsden, Werndly (Marriott 30), Gemmell, Love (Pierce 69). Subs Not Used: Gilmartin, Acqua, Chaplain.
Sent Off: O'Byrne (29). Booked: Lumsden, Reid, Russell, Pierce.
Ref: Frank McDermott