East Fife kicked off at a grey Gayfield geared up to try to disrupt Arbroath’s winning streak on Saturday.
Allan Moore’s men were on top of the visitors but could not finish and missed a frustrating number of opportunities to open up the scoring.
The rest of the first half was fairly uneventful bar a handful of decent chances on goal by Scott McBride, the first in just two minutes following a Bobby Linn free-kick, but with no success.
McBride said: “We had few good chances. If my free-kick had gone in at the start our heads would have been up and their’s would have been down. It would have been a totally different game.”
Arbroath struggled to break away from the aggressive East Fifers attack but maintained their composure and possession remained fairly even-handed throughout, resulting in a 0 - 0 draw at half-time.
Kieran Stewart limped off the pitch with post match reports suggesting he has sustained a thigh injury.
Golden boy Simon Murray came on for Kevin Buchan and Dylan Carreiro, on loan from Dundee, replaced the injured Stewart in an attempt to inject some energy onto the pitch.
Murray attempted some of his, already trademark, footwork to make a difference at the front but ‘keeper Fleming was on his toes.
However, a slip in concentration from Arbroath saw silly passes and ill-thought out plays.
The exasperation was evident and East Fife exploited the position taking the lead in the second half with a close range goal in the 51st minute by Allan Walker, assisted by Nathan Austin putting the visitors on the score sheet.
The Lichties’ heads dropped and before they could regain their composure East Fife’s Kevin Smith took advantage of an Arbroath slip up 50 yards from the box and sent a powerful ball whistling past Crawford into the top left corner.
Gaffer Moore said: “We can’t go away feeling sorry for ourselves and I am disappointed in the way we reacted to the first goal.
“A couple of the boys don’t deal well with adversity and we really need to work on that.
“We gave the ball away for the second goal and they capitalised on our mistakes.”
The players’ disappointment was palpable as they traipsed out of the dressing room for a post-match cool down exercise.
McBride commented: “We were all buzzing before the match.
“I don’t know what went wrong today, if we took our chances it could have been a totally different game, especially with the goals we lost. They were dreadful.
“It is a tough game against Clyde tomorrow, they are in the same situation as us - looing to bounce back. They’ll be looking to hit us when we’re down.”
As the haar descended so did Arbroath’s chances of maintaining their 100 per cent record.