EAST Fife’s derby day woes continued as rivals Cowdenbeath made it four wins from four through the 2011-12 season.
But the loss was tough on the Fifers, who tried to give new permanent boss Gordon Durie a winning start to his new job.
East Fife started by far the brightest, with Bobby Linn having a penalty kick claim turned down when it looked as if the ball struck a Cowdenbeath hand inside the area.
Steven Hislop blasted an effort into the side netting and Darren Smith fired his strike over the crossbar as East Fife peppered Thomas Flynn’s goal.
Cowdenbeath looked anything but champions elect and Joe Mbu was lucky to be let off the hook when his slip allowed Hislop a sight of goal.
But with Ryan Wallace free and screaming for the pass to be made, Hislop decided to shoot himself, and fired tamely wide.
East Fife needed the three points to stay on the coat-tails of fourth-placed Stenhousemuir and Hislop was next to try to break the deadlock, when he headed a Robert Sloan corner goalward which Flynn did well to palm away.
But, as can so often be cruelly the case in football, the dominant side were sucker-punched and Cowdenbeath took the lead, completely against the run of play.
Darren McCormack put goalkeeper Michael Brown under pressure with an over-hit pass back, which he was unable to control.
Marc McKenzie was the first on the scene and picked up the loose ball, firing a shot towards goal which Brown did well to keep out.
The midfielder made no mistake from the rebound, though, and put the league leaders a goal up.
East Fife came out with intent in the second 45 and Wallace tried to grab a swift equaliser, only to see his shot beaten away.
Cowdenbeath offered very little in an attacking sense, with only a Gary Fisher effort, which ended up in the Bayview car park, to boast about.
East Fife continued to press for the goal that their dominance deserved, with Linn again trying his luck from range, and Sloan also again unlucky.
Following the match, Blue Brazil boss Colin Cameron said he had been “embarrassed” to be one up at the break, and honestly admitted that any second goal they managed to grab would have “flattered” his side.
New Bayview boss Durie said: “I’m disappointed but that result kind of sums up our season so far.
“We definitely deserved something but the goal we conceded is the type of thing we’re trying to stop giving away.
“Darren has held his hands up to his mistake. He should have just launched the ball into the Forth, so we’ll just hope he learns from it.
“You can’t give teams like Cowdenbeath a goal start like that, but, if the boys give me that level of commitment for the next eight games, then I’ll be happy with that.
“We’ll just re-group now and prepare for our next game.”
East Fife - Brown, Durie, McCormack, White, Cook, Linn, Janczyk (Martin 70), Smith, Sloan, Hislop (Dalziel 67), Wallace. Subs (not used) Collier, Campbell, Gordon.
Cowdenbeath - Flynn, Cowan (Ramsay 69), Armstrong, Mbu, Adamson, McKenzie, Fisher (O’Brien 64), Robertson, Linton, Stewart (Coult 58), Lyle. Subs (not used) Wilson, Cameron.
Attendance - 926.
Referee - John McKendrick.
Starcheck ratings - Smith 3 points, Wallace 2, White 1.
Starcheck table - Ryan Wallace 38, Bobby Linn 34, Michael Brown 21, Mark Ridgers 17, Darren Smith 17, Robert Sloan 13, Craig Johnstone 12, Rob Ogleby 11, Steve Campbell 10, Scott Durie 10, John Ovenstone 9, Matthew Park 8, David White 8, Steve Hislop 5, David Muir 3, Andrew Cook 2, Chris Innes 2, Neil Janczyk 1, Lloyd Young 1.