The day began well for Dunfermline with Josh Falkingham rolling the ball home after just six minutes after being set up by Michael Paton. Brechin levelled 11 minutes later when Robert Thomson headed home a Willie Dyer corner but Ben Richards-Everton scored Dunfermline’s winner.
Johnston said: “I am pleased that we are creating chances but not pleased with our failure to take them. We have to be more clinical.”
Brechin player-manager Darren Dods said: “We struggled in the first 15 minutes but got to grips with things. We put some pressure on Dunfermline but they have players that can hurt you with their pace and strength.”
Peterhead won for the tenth time in a 14-game unbeaten run when they saw off Cowdenbeath 3-2 at Central Park.
Ryan Strachan’s 35-yard rocket after 15 minutes was cancelled out when the hosts’ Declan McDaid diverted a Jack Beaumont effort past Graeme Smith 13 minutes later.
Leighton McIntosh restored Peterhead’s lead before Cowdenbeath came back into things again six minutes into the second half when a Beaumont free kick was allowed to creep in. Jamie Redman volleyed home the winner with 15 minutes left.
Ayr United remain in third after a 2-1 home success over second-bottom Forfar. Ryan Stevenson headed them in front but the Loons drew level midway through the second half when Andy Ryan netted. Stevenson won the game with a scissors-kick 15 minutes from time.
Airdrie and Stranraer drew 1-1 at the Excelsior Stadium but the meeting between Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir was postponed.