From the Courier: ARBROATH’S INABILITY to defend against set-pieces cost them a guaranteed place in the second division on Saturday.
The Lichties failed in their bid to escape the play-offs, despite twice coming from behind against East Fife and must now face Queen’s Park.
The Fifers went ahead when Bobby Linn smashed home a 25-yard free-kick after Callum Booth was judged to have handled the ball in the 51st minute.
Jim Weir’s men stepped up a gear and Steven Doris levelled on the hour mark with a finely taken goal after good link-up play involving Alan Rattray and Mitch Megginson. The home side then committed the cardinal sin of allowing their opponents an immediate reply.
Arbroath gave away a cheap corner and compounded matters by leaving David Muir unmarked at the back post to put the Fifers ahead again. Jamie Redman gave the Angus side fresh hope when he connected with a Keith Gibson cross to make it 2-2 in the 71st minute.
The home side should have won the match in the final minutes but Michael Brown pulled off a great save to deny Callum Booth and then solid appeals for a penalty were waved away by referee Brian Winter.
Weir looked as drained as his shattered players after what was a rousing second half. “I think we deserved to win that game but we can’t afford to give soft goals away,” he said.
“We battled back but just couldn’t find the winner. If I am disappointed with the outcome I am happy with the effort and there are some very tired lads in there.
“We now have a few bodies struggling to make Wednesday which will make our task even more difficult. “But if we take the same level of commitment and effort into the play-offs then that should see us through.”
Fifers gaffer Stevie Crawford said he was ”delighted” with the result after enduring an extremely nervy final quarter. “I’m just delighted that we’ve got over the line,” he said.