Rangers returned to winning ways by rounding off 2013 with a straightforward victory over second-placed Dunfermline at East End Park.
The Pars started well but Fraser Aird struck to begin showing that Rangers' weekend
draw with Stranraer
was a blip.
Nicky Clark re-directed Jon Daly's header before Nicky Law jabbed home a neat third in the 70th minute.
Substitute Robbie Crawford completed the scoring for Rangers, who go 14 points clear at the top of League One.
The Gers have now put four goals past Dunfermline in each of their last three visits to Fife, with this latest outing being the final game of the year in British league football.
Dunfermline's unbeaten run of eight games, now sandwiched by defeats to Ally McCoist's men, ends here, but they will take solace from encouraging first-half displays by many of their youngsters.
Four from this starting XI had been in the side that lost last season's Scottish Youth Cup final to Celtic.
Nicky Clark (right) celebrates apologetically with Jon Daly (left) after nodding in his header on the line.
Right from 17-year-old Ryan Williamson's full-blooded, first minute challenge on the experienced Stevie Smith, it was clear these fledglings were motivated.
Williamson seemed determined to take a leaf out of Dundee United full-back Andrew Robertson's book by charging forward down the flank at every opportunity, leaving Lee Wallace vexed on more than one occasion.
And on the subject of the Tangerines, Dunfermline's on-loan United forward Jordan Moore also busied himself early on.
He charged down a Cammy Bell clearance before later being guilty of not pulling the trigger quickly enough when played in wonderfully by Andy Geggan.
Smith recovered from his opening minute dumping to shoot narrowly wide of home goalkeeper Ryan Scully's far post as Rangers began to remind their hosts why they have only failed to win once in the league this season.
The chance Dunfermline needed to take came via 20-year-old Alex Whittle's fine corner, which was glanced goalwards by Stephen Husband, only for Gers 'keeper Bell to expertly tip over.
- Rangers have only conceded eight goals in 17 league games this season
But for all the quality of the Pars' passing in the opening 20 minutes, it was undone in an instant when Aird netted his third goal of the season.
The Canadian-born midfielder received the ball from Law and ran infield, inexplicably unchallenged, before hitting a controlled shot low into the bottom right corner.
Dunfermline had 'keeper Scully and 17-year-old Lewis Martin to thank for ensuring it remained 1-0 at the break, denying Daly and Aird respectively.
But Rangers added a comforting second soon after the restart.
Aird's out-swinging corner was met by the capable head of Daly, whose goal-bound effort was nodded over the line by a cheeky Clark, who ensured he registered his eighth of the season instead of Daly getting his 19th.
Lewis Macleod, on for Smith, beat Williamson to the ball and went on to slip in Law who poked the ball over the onrushing Scully.
And there was time for Rangers to expose their hosts once more, when Daly passed to Crawford to drill a low shot beyond the Partick Thistle loanee.
- 01 Scully
- 02 Williamson (Spence - 89' )
- 03 Whittle
- 06 Geggan Booked
- 05 Young Booked
- 04 Martin
- 07 Byrne (Smith - 76' )
- 08 Husband
- 11 Moore
- 10 Falkingham Booked
- 09 Wallace
- 12 Dargo
- 14 Smith
- 15 Kane
- 16 Spence
- 17 El-Bakhtaoui
- 18 Millen
- 20 Goodfellow
- 01 Bell
- 02 Faure
- 05 Wallace
- 08 Black (Crawford - 79' )
- 06 McCulloch
- 03 Mohsni Booked
- 07 Aird Booked
- 11 Law
- 09 Daly
- 10 Clark (Foster - 69' )
- 04 Smith (MacLeod - 57' )
- 12 MacLeod
- 14 Peralta
- 15 Shiels
- 16 Simonsen
- 17 Sanchez Cribari
- 18 Foster
- 19 Crawford
Ref: Craig Charleston