A scrambled last minute goal saw Arbroath lose their lead not only in the match but in the league.
Queen’s Park lost out to Albion Rovers bringing the Cliftonhill men in line with the Lichties at the top of the SPFL League Two leaderboard.
“We’re still top on goal difference and we’ve still got Albion Rovers to play,” said, remarkably calm, gaffer Allan Moore after the match. “That game will be a cracker as well. What we’ve got to do is learn to win those games, Grind them out when we’re not being prolific.”
Arbroath were showing all the hallmarks of being in control against East Fife, digging their heels in and keeping on top of the plays.
Whether it was a break in concentration or fatigue setting in, the Fifers finally forced the ball over the line for a late equaliser.
“We’ve lost a goal from set play again,” Moore lamented. “Although we did defend the best we have in a few weeks. Liam Gordon was excellent, and makes the new defence make good partnerships.
“With three new players in defence it is a little makeshift, which is annoying at the moment but they did well and the more games they play together the better they come.
“By half-time I said, this is a scrap and we’ve got to win scraps.
“1-0 in any game is dangerous and we’ve got to put it to bed and we didn’t. All credit to East Fife who came back into the game in the last five minutes.
“In fairness, the conditions are not conducive to how we play. When it was good weather we were knocking the ball about fine. Getting it down and into attack.
“I’m not panicking. I’ll panic in April, May time if Albion Rovers are four or five points ahead of us. At the end of the day it’s going to be a scrap to the end of the season.”
A break from the league takes the Maroons down the east coast tomorrow to Hibernian F.C.’s stomping ground in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
Although concentrating on the league Moore is confident the team will show determination against the Championship side.
“We’ve got to try and do our best and go in with the mindset that we can win. Everybody expects a slaughter. If you’re in it, you’ve got to play to the best of your ability, don’t freeze.
“We can look at their flaws, such as letting one in on Saturday against Raith Rovers in the last few minutes.”
As the transfer deadline closed Arbroath were pleased to announce the retention of goalkeeper Marc McCallum until the end of the season and the return of Dylan Carreiro.
“Dylan’s return is a wee lift to players. He has scored a few important goals and has great ability.”
l Referees are to use vanishing spray - to mark out 10 yards at free-kicks - for the first time in this weekend’s Scottish Cup fixtures. The equipment will then be introduced to SPFL League matches. Scottish Football Association’s head of referee operations John Fleming, said: “Vanishing spray is a simple yet effective tool. It will aid our referees in their management of set-piece situations.”