Arbroath 2-0 East Fife
Up against 10 men for 20 minutes and facing a side playing without a recognised goalkeeper, there’s no doubt East Fife will be kicking themselves at having lost this game.
With the game locked at 0-0 with 67 on the clock, Arbroath ‘keeper Calum Antell was sent off for a foul on Ryan Wallace.
By this stage the home side had used all their subs, meaning midfielder David Gold had to pull on the gloves.
East Fife could barely believe their luck - but failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
Instead it was Arbroath who hit twice in the closing stages of the game, the Fifers struggling to fashion a shot on target.
Darren Young handed starts to summer recruits Scott Mercer, Connor McManus and Scott Gallacher as the Methil men played their first competitive game of the new season in the Premier Sports Cup group stages.
Arbroath started theirs at the weekend, returning from Elgin with a 1-0 win.
The game got off to a pretty cagey start but eventually it was the home side who managed to get on top.
Joel Nouble was proving a handful for Arbroath and he went close to connecting with Gold’s cross.
Arbroath suffered a blow when skipper Thomas O’Brien had to limp off injured and be replaced by Bobby Linn.
The former Fife winger was straight into the thick of the action but his terrific run at goal was let down by a poor shot.
Linn almost turned creator a couple of minutes later for Gavin Swankie but the Arbroath forward failed to get a decent connection on his effort.
Arbroath had ended the first half brightly and picked up from where they left off in the second.
Nouble showed terrific strength to hold off the Fife defence and pick out Linn but, again, the finish was poor.
Dick Campbell made a triple sub bang on the hour mark as he chased the opening goal which would go a long way to preventing penalties.
Striker Sean Brown was brought on by the Fifers as Darren Young showed his own intent to win the game in 90 minutes.
The game then took a huge twist with just over 20 minutes to go when former Fife ‘keeper Antell was shown a straight red card for bringing down as Wallace as he raced towards goal.
Gold stepped up but East Fife had the scent of blood in their nostrils.
But the game took yet another twist when the 10-man host took the lead, Dale Hilson finishing well from close range.
Young’s men tried to work their way in behind the Arbroath defence as they desperately tried to pressure the stand-in keeper.
Liam Watt had a sight of goal from a Wallace delivery but the Fifers were guilty of failing to at least hit the target.
They were punished in the closing seconds when Arbroath sealed a 2-0 win, Donnelly’s header wrapping up the victory.