It's positioning there came at the end of a first leg of a play-off final with Stirling Albion, with Nathan scoring in the last minute to give the visitors a narrow lead ahead of Sunday's decisive tie.
That lead was earned the hard way, with East Fife having to come from behind after Ross Forsyth's opener looked likely to extend Stirling's eight-match unbeaten run. However, Scott McBride equalised midway through the second half to give the Methil side a lifeline, before Austin added a second goal before the end.
Gary Naysmith's side were troubled before kick-off as defender Joe Mbu pulled up with an injury suffered in the warm up. He was replaced by former Stirling player Gary Thom.
However, East Fife found their feet quickly and created the first chance when Kevin Smith forced goalkeeper David Crawford to turn away a well-struck effort. David Weatherston then responded with an effort of his own which he clipped over the bar from inside the box.
Forsyth then showed greater composure when presented with a chance to head in at the back post just three minutes from the break.
Pat Clarke squandered two good chances for the visitors before first McBride headed the ball into the net following a corner then Austin rose high to power another into the net.