Goals from Demetri Mitchell, Kevin Nisbet and Chris Mueller helped the Hibees record a 3-1 success despite falling behind to a sixth-minute strike by Craig Wighton.
Maloney was fully aware of the shock potential, given Arbroath are riding high at the top of the Premiership and that the game was selected for live TV broadcast, and was fulsome in his praise for the response of his players.
“I thought the performance was very good, especially after the early setback,” said Maloney.
“It was a big test. The conditions weren’t easy. But the mentality was very good from the players. They fought, but they also played. So I’m really pleased.
“I think what they showed today was a real desire not to be beat. When you have a big setback after six minutes against a team from a division below... they showed a really strong mentality to come back.
‘It wasn’t just fight. They showed some quality as well with the way we passed through them at times.
“Arbroath are top of the league below. You have to be very wary of these games and there’s a reason it’s on TV. I understand that dynamic.
“With the goal going in so early, the momentum they had made it a very difficult game.
"What really pleased me was the fight they showed, similar to what we had in the derby, and even the quality we had. Hopefully there is momentum now.
Maloney also singled out striker Kevin Nisbet for adulation after he scored a fine second-half goal to put Hibs ahead for the first time in the match. The striker also impressed with his work-rate and movement and could have scored more had it not been for Derek Gaston in the Arbroath goal.
“I try and keep Kevin’s confidence as high as possible because even when he;’s not scored, his performances have been very good for me,” continued Maloney.
“When Kevin starts to take these chances he is going to be a very good player because they positions he gets into and the other parts of his game are very good. Hopefully that’s the first of many for him."