Gary Naysmith said his players had given him everything after they left the Excelsior Stadium with a point.
Full-time Airdrieonians were pre-match favourites but were unable to get past the Methil men.
East Fife took a first-half lead through Kevin Smith only to be pegged back in the second 45 by an Iain Russell penalty.
Naysmith said: “We had to work hard to get the point. Airdrie didn’t have a lot of clear-cut chances but they did have a lot of possession with the ball. That’s how they play.
“But we deserved the point and I said to the players that I was pleased with that. We restricted them to a few chances and showed a really good attitude.
“Obviously we want to win every game but we have to be realistic and say that we’ve come to play a full-time club and left with a point.”
Andy Ryan should have put the hosts ahead on the 10-minute mark when he was afforded far too much time and space inside the box.
East Fife grabbed the opening goal of the game somewhat out of the blue. Mark Lamont did well to work space for himself out on the wing and sent a looping cross deep into the box. It was met by Smith, who sent his header beyond the reach of Rohan Ferguson.
Airdrie had a couple of decent penalty shouts turned down by ref Graham Beaton, with the ball appearing to strike the hands of Kyle Wilkie and Jonathan Page.
East Fife had a penalty shout of their own snubbed when Smith went down under pressure from Daniel Boateng.
But Beaton pointed to the spot when Page bundled over Andy Ryan inside the box.
Russell stepped up and sent Mark Hurst the wrong way.
Naysmith reckoned his side could also have had a penalty for the foul on Smith.
He said: “I was right behind him and the guy has definitely clipped Kevin’s feet. It was a penalty, but I also think the ref got it right with Airdrie’s penalty – we don’t have any complaints there.”