RANGERS defeated Elgin City at Borough Briggs thanks to a penalty kick which was heavily disputed by the home side.
Lee McCulloch's 72nd minute spot kick earned a scrappy 1-0 win for the Ibrox men in a tight Division 3 encounter.
But Elgin defender Sean Crighton, who was penalised for the penalty incident after a challenge on Lee Wallace, claimed even the Rangers player admitted it was a harsh award.
“I asked him and he said he wouldn't have given it,” Sean revealed. “When I went up for a corner we spoke and he said he didn't think personally it was a pen.
“There was a wee bit of contact. He's actually dived into me, I've actually pulled out of it but some referee's will give it and some will not.”
With sixteen Sky cameras capturing the action live for a TV audience, and a crowd of 3,663 inside Borough Briggs, it was a big day in the Moray club's history.
Elgin competed well with their star-studded opponents after weathering the storm of an opening spell of Rangers pressure.
Home keeper Joe Malin saved well from Fran Sandaza, Robbie Crawford struck a post and Andy Little fired an easy chance wide as Ally McCoist's men started impressively.
But City came more into it as the half wore on, and Daniel Moore was only inches away with a 25 yard free kick before the break.
The second half was an untidy affair but the Gers won the points with McCulloch's 23rd of the season, and his club's 100th goal of the whole campaign.
He sent Malin the wrong way from the spot after Wallace's run was halted by two Elgin players defending, and Crighton was booked for his protests to ref David Somers.
Rangers ended the match with ten men when Ian Black fouled Gavin Morrison and was shown a second yellow card on 86 minutes.
'Gers' boss McCoist was furious with the decision, remonstrating with the fourth official and saying after the match he thought it was “extremely harsh”.
His Elgin counterpart, City manager Ross Jack, praised his players for containing Rangers and admitted losing to a disputed penalty was tough on his men.
“Our boys are saying there's no way anybody touched him. But it was given, and it's gone.
“I'm delighted with the way we performed, the way we defended and passed the ball.
“Rangers has a lot of possession in the second half but not really troubling us too much.
“Our defence was coping well with everything they threw at us, and to lose by a penalty was tough.”
Rangers could now win the title at home to Stirling Albion next week if nearest rivals Queen's Park don't beat Annan on the same day.
City remain sixth, but will have gained some heart from their display against the 'Gers and the previous week's win at Peterhead.
The Moray men are at home to Clyde next Saturday.
Elgin: Malin, Niven, McMullan (Beveridge 90), Crighton, Duff, Cameron (Morrison 84), Gunn, Millar (Harkins 77), Leslie, Nicolson, Moore. Subs: McLean, Black.
Rangers: Alexander, Hegarty, Cribari, Faure, Wallace, McCulloch, Little, Black (Argyriou 90), Sandaza (McKay 68), Crawford, Aird. Subs: Hemmings, Naismith, Gallagher.
Ref: David Somers