AYR United leap-frogged East Fife to send the Methil men crashing to the foot of the division.
The Fifers knew a win would create some daylight between them and their opponents, but were unable to build on a good start.
Jamie Pollock opened the scoring after just five minutes, but Ayr were quick to equalise through David Sinclair.
Sinclair then put his side one up before Bobby Barr’s equaliser, only for Kyle McAusland to steal the three points.
Assistant boss Gordon Chisholm was unable to hide his frustration after again watching his side ship needless goals.
He said: “I couldn’t fault the players for commitment but I’m really angry at the way we’ve given goals away.
“All three were preventable.
“I’m not going to name individuals but we had a back four which hasn’t worked as a unit.
“Their third goal came from a free header at a set-piece.
“We had a young ‘keeper in, who has been injured, but we needed him to play and we gave him no protection at all.”
Pollock had given the Fifers the best possible start when he created space for himself inside the Ayr box and drilled a shot past Ally Brown.
But Chisholm’s side were unable to keep hold of their lead and Sinclar lashed a shot beyond Collier.
The visitors then took the lead when Andy Cook lost possesion inside his own half.
Ayr broke forward and the ball fell to Sinclair, who again beat Collier.
The Fifers have recruited Bobby Barr on a three-month loan from Livingston and the winger introduced himself to the Fife fans with a stunning lob, only for McAusland to grab a late headed winner.
East Fife – Collier, Durie, Campbell, Forster, Cook (Sloan 78), Willis, Smith, Pollock (Muir 57), Barr, Wardlaw (McBride 67), McManus. Subs (not used) Shaw, McCormack.
Ayr United – Brown, McAusland, Robertson, McCann, Twaddle, Crawford, Sinclair, McStay (Robertson 66), Hunter (Shankland 79), Moffat, Mackinnon (Winters 74). Subs (not used) Martin, Brownlie.
Refereee - Gary Hilland.
Attendance - 575.
Starcheck ratings – Barr 3 points, Collier 2, Pollock 1.
Starcheck table – Michael Brown 13, Darren Smith 7, Robert Sloan 6, Scott McBride 4, Darren McCormack 3, David Muir 3, Collin Samuel 3, Bobby Barr 3, Paul Willis 3, Scott Smith 2, Andy Collier 2, Ross Brown 1, Steven Campbell 1, Paul McManus 1, Gareth Wardlaw 1, Jamie Pollock 1.