Livingston 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1
But it was the Livi player-manager's second-half replacement Ramon Pereira who made the difference as the Spaniard forced Scott Wilson into an own goal.
Lambert's return to action galvanised the Livi midfield and they kept possession for long spells but their glaring lack of strike-power was always evident. It was the Pars who went ahead with a stunning strike from former Livingston favourite Lee Makel just before half-time.
But, ironically, it was the departure of Lambert after 55 minutes with a slight strain that turned the game. Pereira added an extra spark up front and, after Jason Dair turned Pars sub Greg Ross inside out at the left by-line, Pereira did enough to force Wilson to turn the cross beyond Bryn Halliwell at the near post.
Although Livingston - with Lambert pulling the strings - dominated the early possession they had nothing to show for it and were punished by a superb strike from Makel.
Iain Campbell sparked the move on the left and found Bartosz Tarachulski out wide. The Pole picked out Makel and the Englishman needed just a couple of touches as he drifted infield before unleashing an unstoppable drive from fully 30 yards that gave Roddy McKenzie no chance.
Tarachulski and Gary Mason both came close to adding a second but the Pars were made to pay for their missed chances when, after 63 minutes, Dair and Pereira combined to force the equaliser from the unfortunate Wilson.
That was only Livingston's first goal of the season and Pereira came close to adding a second, and snatching an unlikely win, when he headed fellow sub Robert Snodgrass' cross into the side-netting after 70 minutes.