Arbroath 2-3 East Fife

East Fife returned with the full point from Gayfield.
East Fife returned with the full point from Gayfield.

East Fife will bounce into Saturday's derby with Raith Rovers full of confidence after this battling win at Gayfield.

Late and sustained Arbroath pressure may have caused a few hearts to be in mouths until the full-time whistle arrived, but there's no doubt this was deserved victory for the Methil club.

The ending was probably more nervy than it needed to be with the Fifers taking a 3-1 lead in with them at the break.

But you always know what to expect from Arbroath, and Dick Campbell's men continued to battle until their closing breath.

Darren Young listed a strong looking squad for the game with Kyle Wilkie handed a start in place of Pat Slattery to add more of a creative impetus.

And it paid off with barely a couple of minutes on the clock.

The slick Fifers put together a sweeping move up the park and worked the ball out the Greg Hurst on the left wing.

The on-loan St Johnstone forward continues to impress in black and gold and took his marker to the cleaner.

His cross into the box was too difficult to defend for the hosts and Thomas O'Brien ended up turning it into his own net.

Campbell's men responded in the right manner and it didn't take them long to peg back their visitors.

A long through ball wasn't dealt with by the Fife defence, allowing Steven Doris to nip in and lob Ryan Goodfellow.

Like their hosts, the Methil men reacted well to the disappointment of conceding and went straight off in search of the game's third goal.

It arrived in style with the goal of the game from Nathan Flanagan.

There didn't seem to be too much on for the on-loan midfielder so he decided to try his luck himself, curling a fine strike beyond David Hutton from 25 yards.

East Fife weren't content to protect their lead and surged forward again in an attempt to kill the game off before half time.

Arbroath played a part in their own demise, though.

Hutton was unable to control a pretty routine ball along the ground to him and the last person he wanted to see nearby and waiting to pounce was Chris Duggan.

The Fife forward duly took full advantage and rolled the ball into an unguarded net.

Arbroath may have been down but they were certainly not out.

They started the second half with a real intent and forced wave after wave of attack onto Goodfellow's goal.

With a strong win gusting in his face as well, the Fife 'keeper was certainly up against it.

Ryan McCord went close for the hosts before they eventually got the reward their persistence merited.

East Fife couldn't clear their lines and Danny Denholm slammed home from six yards.

It set up a grand stand finish and the visitors had to lead a charmed life at times.

But they stayed strong and threw their bodies on the line to ensure the points traveled back to the Kingdom with them.

Boss Young said: "We had to stick to it so fair play to the guys.

"We spoke about getting down the wing and putting crosses into the box.

"Luckily for us it was one of their guys who got on the end of it.

"We had a wee bit of luck for one of the other goals as well when their 'keeper came out and maybe should have done a bit better.

"We could have had more in the first half and also a couple in the second but.

"But Arbroath could have as well."