Darren Young admitted his frustration with his "erratic" side after they shipped all three points to struggling Forfar Athletic.
There's no doubt the performance was better than seven days previous against Brora Rangers but ultimately it meant little with Jim Weir's side leaving with the win.
Forfar went into the game bottom of League One and in desperate need of a victory to ease their relegation fears.
The home side were aiming for the three points themselves to keep pace with the top four.
But after getting level following a Dylan Easton penalty, the side would go on to throw away any chance of getting the win when they again lost a goal from a set piece.
Boss Young cut a frustrated figure after the game.
He said: “They had one good chance against us but we’ve lost goals from a penalty and a set-piece.
“The way we’ve played the whole season has been so erratic.
“We’ve been up and down.
“It has to be better all over the park."
Forfar started the game well and Easton was unlucky to see his drive hit the top of the bar.
Ref Stephen Finnie awarded each side a penalty with both certainly of the soft variety.
The first went to the visitors with Scott Linton judged to have brought down Josh Peters.
Easton stepped up and sent Ryan Goodfellow the wrong way.
The goal sparked East Fife into life and they were unlucky not to pull level when Craig Thomson crashed his effort off the post after a neat move involving Chris Duggan and Kyle Wilkie.
But they managed to pull level on the stroke of half-time when Finnie again pointed to the spot, this time penalising Jamie Bain for a foul on Craig Watson.
Mark McCallum guessed right but Mark Docherty's penalty was too well hit and found the corner of the net.
The equaliser should have been the foundation East Fife needed to go on and win the game but in the second half they just couldn't get their noses in front.
Duggan went close with a snapshot McCallum tipped past the post.
But when Forfar were awarded a corner kick with 13 minutes to go the points were tossed away.
The home side didn't pick up well enough and Matthew Aitken headed home Russell Dingwall's corner.
East Fife - Goodfellow, Docherty, Kane, Page, Watson, Lamont, Slattery (Smith 68), Duggan, Wilkie, Linton, Thomson.
Subs - Mackenzie, Willis, Wilson, Millar.
Forfar - McCallum, McIntosh, Bain, Munro, Travis, McNaughton, Easton (Starkey 90), Dingwall, Aitken, Peters (Duthie 63), Maciver (McBride 81).
Subs - Gregg, Malone, Adam.
Ref - Stephen Finnie .
Att - 556.