EAST Fife missed several chances, including a penalty, which cost them two points and revenge for a home defeat 10 days earlier by hosts Airdrie.
The Fifers started really well and could have been in the lead before the home team took advantage of a defensive blunder.
Although they got back on level terms quickly enough, they could not get a crucial second against a side who had conceded five at home just three days previously.
The missed penalty did not help the cause but the point was some return and extended the away record to five without defeat.
Early missed opportunities by Hislop and Muir proved expensive as United took the lead after 12 minutes.
A cross by Mackay-Steven looked to have all danger taken out of it when Marc McCulloch chested the ball towards keeper Michael Brown. However, his attempt was short and Airdrie’s Johnston nipped in to slot home.
The hosts continued to dominate after getting that opener and, a couple of minutes later, Brown did well to push Owen’s attempt away for a corner.
Midway through the half, however, the Methil men got themselves back on level terms. A well-flighted Linn free kick was made to measure for Jonathan Smart at the back post and he headed home his second goal of the season.
East Fife now looked the more likely side, with first a Young effort and then an attempt by Hislop to squeeze a low shot in at the post. Neither proved successful.
Chances at both ends were created, but not taken, immediately after the interval.
Linn, who had been tormenting the home defence all evening, laid on a decent chance for Young, but former East Fife loanee Mark Ridgers did enough to keep it out.
The Fifers were given a real chance to settle things with around 15 minutes left when, following a hand ball given against Lovering, a penalty kick was given. However, sub Hamilton fired wide and let the home side off the hook – following in Sloan’s and Linn’s footsteps.
Airdrie United – Ridgers, Bain, Lovering, Smith, Devlin, Stevenson, Johnston, McCord, Gemmill (Donnelly 67), Owens (Craig 70), Mackay-Steven (Gray 58). Subs (not used) Fairweather, Szpilcynski.
East Fife – Brown, Smart, McCulloch, Ovenstone, McGowan, Muir, Linn, Park, Hislop (Hamilton 67/Fagan 88), Young, Johnstone. Subs (not used) Durie, Murdoch, Lyness.
Referee – E. Smith.
Attendance – 447.
Starcheck – Linn 3 pts, Brown 2, Smart 1.