Lanark United and Carluke Rovers served up a local derby cracker at Moor Park on Saturday with United taking the honours in a 2-1 win.
Carluke began the match very slowly and could have gone a goal down in two minutes when Lanark cut infield but their final shot was deflected away for a corner.
A mix-up in the Rovers defence then saw Gordon Bruce allow the opposition possession on the right but a low ball across goal found no takers.
In contrast, United started well and took the lead on 16 minutes when Ronan Kearney collected a pass on the lft from David O’Donnell and advanced into the box before beating keeper Gordon Bruce with a well placed shot.
Ian Watt then tested Lanark keeper Gareth Hallford with a couple of well hit shots before United doubled their score on 26 minutes when Hugh Kerr forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.
Rovers’ Chick McCole came close with a shot which went inches past the post on 37 minutes.
The visitors again failed to alter the scoreline before half-time when good work from Alberto Vezza producing a chance for Lewis McDougall but he couldn’t convert.
After an initial flurry by United at the start of the second half Carluke took control of the midfield area as United retreated into defence.
Keeper Hallford was then kept busy and produced a string of excellent saves until the 73rd minute when he was beaten by a free-kick from Mark Weir.
The setpiece was awarded after Watt was upended 25 yards out.
Carluke fought to the end to try and grab the equaliser their play deserved but could not get past Hallford whom United can thank for an impressive performance which secured the three points for his team.
The former Newmains custodian denied Rovers by firstly tipping a Weir free-kick round the post then turning away a good looping header from McDougall.
The defeat means that Rovers have now lost three matches in a row in league and cup, having been unbeaten in 11 before that.
Match reporter Craig Martin said: “Promotion is looking less likely for us now.
“The performances have been poor in the past couple of games.
“We’ve not look like winning them.
“We need to arrest the slide against St Anthony’s this Saturday.”