A gathering of only 28 junior football fans witnessed veteran midfield maestro and Rovers captain Mark Weir turn renaissance man as the Carluke side eventually outmanoeuvred and outplayed a hardy Vale of Leven side.
Both sides struggled against a swirling wind early on to establish ball possession and it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 22 minutes when they countered an overly committed Rovers attack and a run and cross from the left wing was side footed home at the back post by Vales centre forward.
Rovers responded positively and almost equalised from the restart when Weir curled in a free kick from the right wing which was headed out by Vale only for the ball to fall at his left foot which volleyed the ball inches wide of the left hand post.
This was followed by another Rovers attack with Weir threading a pass to McNeil who turned his marker only to be chopped down from behind as he ran towards goal.
Rovers piled on the pressure and equalised just before half time when Weir won the ball insidevthe centre circle and passed to McNeil on the right wing who crossed first time to Lafferty in front of goal who calmly side footed the ball into the net from close range.
Half Time 1-1
Two minutes into the second half and Rovers went a goal ahead when Weir started and finished a fine flowing move when he intercepted a pass on the front edge of the centre circle and found Grierson on the left wing who’s first touch allowed him to outpace the full back and square the ball inside to Weir who had tracked his 35 yard run to the front edge of the box.
Weir struck the ball in his stride which bulged the net to put the home side deservedly ahead.
Five minutes later Rovers extended their lead when Weir set Biggart free down the left flank and his first time cross was clinically finished by the head of Connor McDonald at the back post who had timed his run perfectly coming in off the opposite wing.
With ten minutes remaining Weir scored his second of the afternoon curling a right wing corner straight into the net.
Rovers win allows them to maintain a challenge for a hopeful promotional place and now rise to joint third place in league 2.
Rovers are looking for a healthy home support next Saturday in the West of Scotland Cup where they face Championship side Irvine Vics at the John Cumming Stadium.Match Report by Ian McKnight