A point against the runaway league leaders is no bad return, but East Fife will be thinking about what could have been.
With the race to reach the play-offs really heating up, every point is a prisoner and the Fifers should have taken all three on Tuesday night.
The game ebbed and flowed from one end to the other with both sides having chances to nudge themselves into the lead.
But by far the best came to East Fife with around ten minutes to go when Aaron Dunsmore was cut down inside the box by Thomas O'Brien.
Mark Docherty stepped up to take the spot kick, but his clip down the middle of the goal was clawed away by Darren Jamieson.
Gaffer Darren Young was disappointed not to see his side get the full three points.
He said: “If we score the penalty we probably go on and win the game.
“That was a turning point and we then go from almost winning the game to possibly losing it.
“It’s decision making - but one thing for sure is that ‘Sparky’ is off the penalties.”
The game started with East Fife on top and they grabbed a deserved lead with only a few minutes gone when Rory Currie showed great composure on the edge of the area to send his strike beyond Jamieson.
In truth it was largely backs to the wall for the home side from then on in as the Lichties played some excellent stuff.
As is so often the case, former Fifer Bobby Linn was tormentor in chief, posing problems down both wings.
Luke Donnelly also impressed up top and he got his side level at the second attempt after Brett Long had blocked his original effort.
Arbroath aren't sitting where they are, and have they advantage they have, by fluke, and really went on to dominate the half.
But the Fifers showed a resilience and determination not to concede again which got them through to the break.
And it was a break which clearly refreshed them, with East Fife looking much brighter at the start of the second half.
Broque Watson was handed a start by boss Young and he'll be a crowd pleaser with a hatful of tricks and excellent close control.
He broke through the Arbroath defence a couple of minutes after the restart and got a shot away which came back off the base of the post.
Currie had another sight of goal as he looked to bag a brace but Arbroath had chances of their own through Linn and McKenna.
With the game raging from end to end, East Fife were gifted a chance to make it 2-1.
Dunsmore raced into the Arbroath box but just when he was about to square the ball across goal was taken out by O'Brien.
There was little argument from the Arbroath side when the penalty was given but Docherty's tame effort was saved by the Arbroath No 1.
The Methil men remain behind third placed Forfar, but with games in hand, and the two will meet at Station Park this weekend.
East Fife - Long, Dunsmore, Docherty, Watson,Slattery, Court (Dowds 72), Murdoch, Davidson, Meggatt, Linton, Currie (Smith 72).
Subs - Terry, Dunlop, Watt, Bell.
Arbroath - Jamieson, Thomson, Gold (Swankie 80), Little, O’Brien, Whatley, Kader, McKenna (McCord 72), Wallace (Spence 22), Donnelly, Linn.
Subs - Denholm, Doris, Hamilton, Hill.
Ref - David Munro.
Att - 722.