A dismal Motherwell slumped to their third consecutive home defeat after Hamilton Accies ran out 4-0 winners at Fir Park.
Following their disappointing Cup defeat to their Lanarkshire neightbours on penalties, Stuart McCall promised to freshen up the side. And the ‘Well boss did so with a massive seven changes from the side that lined up in midweek at New Douglas Park.
Now regaining match fitness, Henrik Ojamma was back in the starting eleven, as did Bob McHugh, who made his first start of the season and partnered Lee Erwin in attack with John Sutton watching from the bench.
Not surprisingly with so many changes ‘Well took time to settle and Accies, on a run of great form, dominated the first half.
A second minute save from Dan Twardzik, palming away a shot from Tony Andreu set the pattern for the first half. Although the pressure was around the home goal, Twardzik only had one more save, when he dived full length to hold a ground shot from Danny Redmond.
However, slack defending gifted Accies the lead after 33 minutes. Hendrie’s long ball dropped over Stephen McManus at the edge of the box but facing his own goal Zaine Francis-Angol missed his clearance, allowing the ball to roll into the path of Andreu who calmly slotted it past the helpless ‘keeper to make it 1-0.
Motherwell were heading to the interval with a chance to re-organise when more slack play cost them a second goal. This time Paul Lawson was caught in possession 35 yards from goal and Ali Crawford sped towards the penalty area before confidently firing the ball past Twardzik and put Accies in the driving seat.
That resulted in two half time changes, Craig Reid replacing McManus, and John Sutton coming on for Lawson, as ‘Well restarted with effectively four strikers.
And that positive change should have been rewarded as the home side bombarded the Hamilton goal for 15 minutes.
Michael McGovern was forced into his first save of the game spreading himself to block McHugh from close range.
Motherwell suddenly looked a lot more threatening force and two minutes later the home side should have pulled a goal back. McHugh at the edge of the box nudged the ball in front of Sutton, but his effort from eight yards was somehow blocked by the keeper.
McGovern was the busiest player on the pitch and the ‘keeper had to throw himself across goal to catch Erwin’s header. On the hour mark the ‘keeper again denied Sutton blocking the striker’s angled drive.
Any thoughts of a ‘Well comeback were killed off after 62 minutes. Fraser Kerr and substitute Louis Longridge collided just outside the box as they chased a long ball but referee Willie Collum pointed to the penalty spot. Antoine-Curier calmly sent Twardzik the wrong way to make it 3-0.
That looked like being the extent of the damage until the final minute when Crawford made it four, firing home from a tight angle and adding further misery to the Fir Park side.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at New Douglas Park
FT: Motherwell 0 – 4 Hamilton Accies #MFCvHAFC
91mins: GOAL, Crawford makes it 4-0 #MFCvHAFC
83mins: Accies change, Antoine-Curier makes way for Docherty #MFCvHAFC
82mins: Twardzik dives low to his left to palm away Crawford’s shot from just inside the box #MFCvHAFC
79mins: Motherwell sub, Francis-Angol off for Law #MFCvHAFC
77mins: Kerr manages to get his head onto Crawford’s cross to knock it on to safety with Antoine-Curier lurking #MFCvHAFC
75mins: Accies sub, Andreu off for Lyon #MFCvHAFC
65mins: Crawford pounces on a loose ball and drives forward. Drags his shot just wide #MFCvHAFC
61mins: PENALTY – Accies have a pen, scored by Antoine-Curier. Now 3-0 #MFCvHAFC
60mins: Sutton stings the palms of McGovern with a volley just inside the box. All Motherwell at the moment. #MFCvHAFC
59mins: Great spell for ‘Well! Erwin gets on the end of Francis-Angol’s cross but heads into the side-netting #MFCvHAFC
58mins: And another good chance! Erwin gets on the end of Sutton’s header but his own header lacks power #MFCvHAFC
58mins: Gillespie booked for a lunge on McHugh #MFCvHAFC
57mins: Brilliant chance for Sutton as McHugh slides him in but he can’t get a shot away under pressure and McGovern races out to gather
55mins: Great ball in for Sutton by McHugh but he can’t get enough on his header to divert it goalwards #MFCvHAFC
54mins: Accies sub, Longridge on for Redmond. #MFCvHAFC
2 half time subs for ‘Well, Reid and Sutton on for McManus and Lawson
Teams are back out, ‘Well need something special to get back into this…. #MFCvHAFC
HT: Motherwell 0 – 2 Hamilton Accies #MFCvHAFC
45mins: GOAL! Crawford makes it 2-0
33mins: GOAL – Accies are one-up through an Andreu goal after a defensive mistake. #MFCvHAFC
32mins: Corner to ‘Well but Antoine-Curier is on hand to head clear at the front post #MFCvHAFC
24mins: It’s a barrage at the moment. Twardzik has to react sharply to get down to a low Redmond shot from just inside the box #MFCvHAFC
24mins: It’s all Accies as they burst forward again from a slack pass. Crawford tries to place it but sees it fly just over #MFCvHAFC
22mins: Gillespie jinks into the box and gets a shot away which is deflected wide for a corner. From the corner, Gordon heads over #MFCvHAFC
…Redmond curls the ball well over the bar #MFCvHAFC
19mins: And another booking. Francis-Angol hauls down Imrie about 25 yards out…
18mins: Half a chance there as McHugh gets past the keeper but is forced wide. He delivers but it is swept clear by Tena #MFCvHAFC
14mins: Another booking. This time Lawson for a tackle on Redmond on the edge of the box #MFCvHAFC
13mins: Fine block from Francis-Angol to deny Imrie’s goal-bound drive. #MFCvHAFC
Accies have had two shots, one just over from Hendrie and Andreu whose powerful shot was beaten away by Twardzik #MFCvHAFC
10mins: Sorry folks, had some internet issues. McManus has been booked for a tackle from behind near the corner flag.
Game is underway.
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:
Hamilton Accies manager Alex Neil: