Despite taking the lead and dominating for long spells in the first half, Peterhead failed to build on their League Cup opening win and went down to an eager East Fife side who look set to upset the odds and pip Premiership Dundee to top spot in Group A.
The loss of a poorly defended equaliser and a sloppy challenge to concede a penalty, were to give the Fifers a lead they fairly comfortably held on to.
Scott Ross returned to the visitors’ defence following suspension but midfielder Samir Nasoor failed to get the necessary international clearance in time to play.
The match was less than two minutes old when the Blue Toon had to make a substitution with Captain Simon Ferry having to be replaced and hand the armband to Jamie Redman after a prematch twinge in his back failed to improve.
The game was never allowed to flow in the first period with continual niggle fouls and over officious refereeing and after having the majority of the ball Peterhead finally made the breakthrough.
With 26 minutes gone Rory McAllister struck a 25 yard free kick which keeper Willie Muir seemed set to gather. Instead he allowed the ball to bounce from his grasp and
Jordan Brown nipped in to prod the ball over the line from a couple of yards out.
The home side rarely threatened but drew level in the 38 th minute with a cheaply conceded goal from a corner kick on the right.
Man-of- the-match Mark Lamont sent the ball towards the back post where centre half Jonathan Page rose completely unchallenged to nod the equaliser.
The initiative swung in favour of East Fife with the second half just four minutes old.
Kevin Dzierzawski put a clumsy challenge in on sub Ross Brown bowling him over and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty from which Paul McManus thumped home the spot kick.
Peterhead could have drawn level but rarely looked convincing. The best chance fell to McAllister after his shot was pushed clear for a corner by an unconvincing Muir in the home goal. When the ball was sent over Brown headed on and McAllister struck the crossbar shooting as he fell.
A Ryan Strachan 35 yard effort after 73 minutes flew just over the crossbar then Jamie Stevenson did likewise from closer range.
As the game drew to a close desperation grew in the Blue Toon play and despite bringing on Leighton McIntosh a leveler looked unlikely as Manager Jim McInally struggles for options in the goal scoring department.
Manager Jim McInally after the game “We shot ourselves in the foot by conceeding a needless goal then a penalty.
“I thought East Fife were decent and played well but we huffed and puffed after starting well and maybe a draw would have been a fair result.
“When you’re chasing the game it gets tough and conceding the penalty soon after half time didn’t help. Simon Ferry took a spasm in his back just as we were going out of the dressing room and insisted that he start but I could see right away that he wasn’t right but that isn’t an excuse.”