Play-off hopefuls Stranraer ensured Arbroath’s miserable run continued by taking all three points from Gayfield.
The Lichties have now not won in eight games, a run which has included seven defeats, and with East Fife winning slipped to second bottom of League One.
Gaffer Paul Sheerin shuffled his defence. David Banjo dropped out, with Johnny Lindsay coming in, Bradley Donaldson moving to right-back and Colin Hamilton alongside Michael Travis at centre of defence.
But the big news for Lichties’ fans was the return of top scorer for the last two seasons, Steven Doris, on loan from Dundee.
The striker was wearing the number nine shirt.
Perth schoolboy Christopher Scott continued in midfield after a good performance 11 days ago against Rangers.
There were only two minutes on the clock when Stranraer made a dream start. A cross from the right found Jamie Longworth unmarked to easily head beyond Scott Morrison.
Longworth was in for a second three minutes later, but Michael Travis made a fantastic saving tackle as he bore down on goal.
Former Maroon Scott Robertson almost made it two when he burst through and fired in a shot which was into the side-netting.
Scott tried his luck from 25 yards, but his 26th minute strike was straight at the ‘keeper.
Only a fantastic save by Mitchell denied Bobby Linn seven minutes later. Cook send him through on goal and he turned the defender before firing in a netbound strike which the ‘keeper brilliantly palmed away.
Then a Linn corner found Hamilton whose shot was bravely smothered by Hamilton as Scott tried to force the ball home.
Arbroath were well on top at this stage and a Scott cross was met by Doris whose header went just wide.
In injury time a great ball in from Scott won a corner which was cleared for a second corner by Mitchell. The ball eventually found its way to Chisholm, but he elected not to shoot and the chance was lost.
Half-time: Arbroath 0, Stranraer 1.
Arbroath made the perfect start to the second half with a leveller 60 seconds after the restart.
Returning Doris was the hero, pouncing to head home after a Ross Chisholm shot was palmed into the air by Mitchell.
Stranraer came back with a shot from Chris Aitken whose effort was saved at second attempt by Scott Morrison.
In 52 minutes, a corner from Alan Cook was headed goalwards by Travis, whose effort came back off the bar. A stramash developed before Mitchell finally flopped on the ball.
Five minutes later Doris almost put the Lichties in front when Chisholm played Scott wide and his cross found the scorer sliding in, but couldn’t get his effort on target.
Stranraer regained the lead wheny they won a free kick in 62 minutes. Chris Aitken fired in the kick and Morrison was found badly positioned as it went over his head into the top corner of the net.
David McKenna danced round the Maroons’ defence and rounded Morrison, but he couldn’t get his effort on target after being forced wide.
In 77 minutes, Doris found space in the box and tried to bend one in, but his strike was wide.
Adam Forde had a great chance to seal the deal in 82 minutes when sent clear, but Morrison parried his effort away.
Arbroath: Morrison, Donaldson, Lindsay, Smith, Travis, Hamilton, Linn, Chisholm, Doris, Scott, Cook. Substitutes: Bayne, McWalter, Banjo, Sibanda, Yao, Sheerin, Wilson.
Referee: Stevie O’Reilly.