Perfect football conditions with a whisp of bitter wind set the tone for a power tussle as The Lichties tried to keep pressure on the Pars throughout the 90 minutes despite a very physical game by the Dunfermline side, resulting in a well fought 2 - 1 defeat.

Dunfermline openend fast, Arbroath, defending the south end, getting stuck in early with a with long cross by Michael Travis to just outside the Pars box. Intercepted promptly by Dunfermline, Josh Falkingham took it down the wing to make some ground but Arbroath showed their aggressive side with two shots on target by Alan Cook at the seventh minute, blocked by the Pars defence.

Arbroath boss Paul Sheerin (left) and his assistant Stewart Petrie.

Arbroath boss Paul Sheerin (left) and his assistant Stewart Petrie.

As is the Lichties downfall there was no conversion to goal and seeing the weakness Dunfermline picked up the pace. Pars Stephen Husband strung a strong ball downfield at the Home goal catching Morrison of guard, Ryan THOMSON took advantage of the keepers slippery hands and headed in a goal for a 0 - 1 lead.

McManus smashed a shot right on Pars goal but Scully was ready and scooped up ball. Arbroath kept the pressure on their visitors with a slightly wide ball from Cook followed by another shot on goal by the persistent forward only to be cleared by Dunfermline’s strong defence.

The Pars retook the initiative and nearly made it an equliser but busy man Hamilton got in between it and cleared it down the park.

From the 36th to 40th minute, players of both sides were reprimanded with yellow cards going to Arbroath’s Keddie, Sheerin and the Pars Forbes but nothing coming from them for either side.

An opportunistic cross from Deuchar saw McManus take a rushed header which missed. Linn had a great chance just before half time with a powerful shot on the end of a cross from Travis but it was just wide. Arbroath’s lack of ability to finish caused them problems with lots of wasted opportunities.

A spectacular equaliser in the 54 minute re-energised Arbroath. Bobby Linn sent in the corner from the left and TRAVIS made the run to the near post and his diving header was glanced into the top corner to make it 1-1.

The Pars stepped up their game in response and the ball moved with speed through the midfield with some steady shots on the Lichties goal. Morrison did well to punch away some difficult shots.

A Cook cross into box and a solid shot from Travis held by keeper returned some pressure on the Pars as the Home side hemmed them into their own half and a great cross into the box.

Tired legs began to show but as Arbroath sub Deuchar off for Leighton McIntosh, Ross Chisholm replaces Sheerin, David Banjo for Alan Cook and the Pars sub Ryan Wallace on for El-Bakhthoui, Dunfermline used the distraction to their advantage and swooped in to steal an easy second goal by Andy GEEGAN.

Arbroath fought to salavage the game but with only ten minutes left a shot by McGeever followed the same fate as a punt from Linn - straight into the keeper.

A disappointing finish to a game that the Lichties put a lot into, letting themselves down by not transforming the many chances on target into points on the board.