The Fifers went toe-to-toe with the Spiders as they aimed to keep alive their survival chances.
But Luca Connell’s spot kick two minutes into injury time left the Fifers feeling flat.
There was no way anyone associated with East Fife could be disappointed with the performance and defender Steele said he and his team mates all believed they deserved to take at least a point.
“It’s devastating,” said the 19-year-old.
"You can see it in the boys at the end of the game because we fought until the dying minutes of the game and created chances.
"In the changing room the boys were gutted.
"We deserved more out of the game.”
With only nine points left to play for this season, and with East Fife eight adrift of ninth-placed Dumbarton, survival is well out of the Bayview club’s hands.
They know they must win their final three games and hope Sons lose theirs.
Dumbarton now face two tough away trips to Airdrieonians and Cove Rangers respectively and Steele says East Fife won’t be throwing in the towel.
"We’re not going to stop, we’re going to keep on fighting and have shown that in the last couple of weeks,” added the defender.
"Results haven’t gone our way when we needed them to but we’re not going to stop fighting until the end.
"That’s the mentality we have.”