Linlithgow Rose started the new year in winning style by disposing of former junior rivals and fellow title challengers Camelon.
A double by Tommy Coyne gave Mark Bradley’s men the win which kept them top of the Conference C table and dealt a serious blow to their opponents’ title ambitions.
Rose began the day six points ahead of their fourth-placed visitors, managed by former Linlithgow favourite Gordon Herd.
Rose were without captain Ruari Maclennan after illness over the Christmas period but he was named on the bench.
Coyne had the first real chance of the match but didn’t catch his shot properly and Dean Shaw saved easily.
With nearly a quarter of an hour played Camelon had a chance but Ross Cameron pulled his shot wide of the target.
Minutes later, however, the Rose had a great opportunity to take the lead with a break forward involving Owen Ronald and Roddy Maclennan, but the latter’s attempted lob when one on one with Shaw was poor and was easy for the keeper.
The wait for a goal was short lived, however, as Coyne scored with a fine header in the 19th minute from a lovely diagonal ball from Ross Barbour.
Eight minutes later a chip from Ronald was not far off target as Rose sought to press home their advantage.
Roddy Maclennan then had a golden chance to score but failed to make the most of it, carelessly missing the target with only Shaw to beat.
At the other end Kieran Anderson’s free-kick for the visitors from a good position went over the bar.
But Camelon were up against it after conceding a second goal four minutes from half-time.
Blair Batchelor went down in the penalty box and the referee awarded the Rose a penalty kick although it did appear that the defender got the ball.
Coyne stepped up to take and sent keeper Shaw the wrong way to double the Rose’s lead before the interval.
Early in the second half, Anderson had another chance with a free-kick in a good position, but the ball went just over the bar.
A bad challenge on Batchelor brought a booking for Jason Deans with Rose keeper Kyle Marley also being booked for his complaints about the original foul.
Camelon then made all their substitutions when they replaced Cameron, Ryan Kane and Andy Kay with Jordan Herron, Lewis Small and Alan Sneddon.
Midway through the half, a long range shot from Ross Barbour was held well by Shaw.
As Camelon battled to claw a goal back. Sneddon’s shot went over the bar, while at the other end, Batchelor’s ambitious shot went wide of the target.
In added time, a great fingertip save from Marley denied Anderson, before Jamie Mckenzie picked up a yellow card.
Rose made a late substitution replacing Coyne with Colin Strickland as the clock ran down.
A good win for the Rose which they can look to build on although another stern challenge awaits this week at second-placed Broxburn.