East Fife’s marginal, at best, chance of reaching the play-offs was blasted out of the water by the end of Saturday’s first half.
Goals from Collin Samuel and Liam Caddis put visitors Arbroath ahead, but it could have been so different.
Gordon Durie’s side had set up to attack and, within the opening stages, Ryan Wallace, David Muir and Craig Johnstone all came close.
But it wasn’t to be, and Samuel took the wind from the home side’s sails when he scored from close range following Michael Brown’s save from a Paul Sheerin shot.
Kieran McAnespie almost put through his own net in bizarre fashion when his attempted clearance smashed off his hand and flew backwards – striking the crossbar.
The visitors scored a second goal when Samuel was allowed time to burst down the wing and square for Caddis, who slid his effort past Brown.
The Fife ‘keeper was substituted just a short while later by stand-in Andrew Collier, who impressed within moments, saving point blank from Samuel.
The young ‘keeper showed the East Fife fans what he is capable of when he went on to make further fine stops from Samuel and Caddis in an eye-catching display.
Arbroath increased their lead when Sibanda netted from close range, despite Darren McCormack’s best efforts to keep the ball out.
David Muir’s late consolation came on the stroke of full time to bring the curtain down on yet another season of so near, yet so far for the Fifers.
East Fife – Brown (Collier 35), McCormack, Cook, Campbell, Ovenstone Smith, Linn, Muir, Dalziel, Wallace (Hislop 68), Johnstone (Sloan 59). Subs – Janczyk, McQuade.
Arbroath – White, Baxter, McAnespie, Gibson, Malcolm, Busch, Falkingham (McWalter 74), Caddis, Samuel (Robertson 76), Birse (Sibanda 63), Sheerin.Subs – Wedderburn, Hill.
Referee – Stevie O’Reilly .
Attendance – 597.
Starcheck ratings – Collier 3 points, Muir 2, Linn 1.
Final Starcheck table – Ryan Wallace 49, Bobby Linn 43, Darren Smith 23, Michael Brown 22, Mark Ridgers 17, Robert Sloan 14, Scott Durie 13, Craig Johnstone 12, Steve Campbell 12, Rob Ogleby 11, John Ovenstone 9, David White 9, Matthew Park 8, Darren McCormack 6, Steve Hislop 5, David Muir 5, Andrew Collier 3, Andrew Cook 2, Scott Dalziel 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1, Paul McQuade 1.