ELGIN City manager Ross Jack questioned his players’ desire after the 1-0 home defeat to East Stirling on Saturday.
City dropped to ninth spot after Jamie Glasgow’s 79th minute strike earned an understrength Shire their first win in eight games.
Shane Sutherland missed a first half penalty for a disappointing Elgin side, who Jack said failed to make the most of the chances they created.
“It’s very, very disappointing,” Jack said. “We didn’t have enough fight at times.
“We didn’t make enough of the first half when we had the wind. We missed a penalty and had about 11 or 12 chances. They had two and scored one.”
City were aiming to build on recent good form which saw them win their last two home matches.
Jack named an unchanged starting line-up for the fourth game running, and Shire won the coin toss electing to kick against the strong wind in the first half.
Home keeper Raymond Jellema tipped over a first minute Iain Thomson shot while Ross McKinnon clipped the crossbar for Elgin at the other end.
At the end of a scrappy first half City were awarded a penalty when Craig Gunn’s cross was handled by Shire defender Jordan Tapping.
Sutherland took the spot kick but keeper Grant Hay guessed the right way and saved his weak effort.
A McKinnon corner midway through the second half fell for Sutherland, who crashed a powerful shot off the post.
Sub Dachi Khutsishvili headed wide at the back post, before Shire broke to open the scoring with a close range volley by Glasgow.
Veteran Dennis Wyness should have levelled but delayed his parting shot allowing a defender to block his strike, while Mark Nicolson saw a stoppage time drive deflected just wide.
City end the year with a long trip to Annan, and start 2014 with another tricky away match at Peterhead on January 2.
Elgin: Jellema, Niven, McMullan (Urquhart), Crighton, Duff, Nicolson, Gunn, McKinnon (Khutsishvili), Wyness, Sutherland, MacKenzie.