Arbroath travel to Forthbank Stadium on Saturday knowing that a win over Stirling Albion will guarantee that the Ladbrokes League Two title is destined for Gayfield.
Their own fate comes in part to hat trick hero Ryan McCord who inspired victory over 10 man Elgin City, propelling Arbroath to the top of the league for the very first time this season as rivals Forfar stuttered with a draw at Cowdenbeath.
After being fouled on the edge of the Elgin box by Scott Smith, McCord dusted himself down and slammed in the free kick low into the bottom corner of the goal in the 38th minute.
A free kick on the half way line in the 58th minute put City back into the game as Brian Cameron showed great skill to hold up the ball before finding Jamie Reid who unleashed a stunning left foot volley into the top corner.
McCord’s tenacity was the key as he fired Arbroath back into the lead shortly after.
Having won the ball deep in the Elgin half he kept pressing until he finally found space to shoot.
His effort was blocked but he kept his position in the box and when the ball was headed back in, he showed a neat touch before turning and hitting the ball low under Waters.
Former Lichtie Jamie Reid had an eventful afternoon as he was shown a second yellow card in the 66th minute for kicking out at Mark Whatley right under the nose of referee Grant Irvine.
Arbroath showed that passing football can overcome any weather conditions in a beautiful passing move that was started by McCord and there was no surprise it was the midfielder himself who was standing ready for the final pass from David Gold to tap the ball home to complete his hat trick in the 80th minute.
Substitute Jassem Sukar made it a nervy end to the game as with his first touch he headed past his own keeper to give Elgin a life line.
Arbroath’s experienced players stepped up and substitute Prunty alongside Hodge and Martin Scott combined brilliantly to run down the clock.
As the final whistle blew, the emotion and joy was evident as they knew they had moved to the top of the league.