Phil McGhee Fir Park
Motherwell were denied a fourth consecutive win when Accies grabbed an 94th minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
It looked like another three points for Mark McGhee’s men until Keith Lasley was adjudged to have handled Grant Gillespie’s shot.
That produced a red card for the Fir Park skipper and a spot kick which Ali Crawford swept home to make it 3-3 and bring a dramatic derby to a close.
It had looked good for ‘Well until then, although the home side lost its way for bit in the first half after a Scott McDonald goal had given them the perfect start to the year and game.
However, two goals from Lucas and Darian McKinnon midway through the half swung the advantage to Accies.
In a blistering start to the second half, though, a second from McDonald and Louis Moult, with his 12th goal of the season, restored the Fir Parker’s lead which they held comfortably until the closing minutes.
‘Well were unchanged for the fourth consecutive game and the consistency in team selection paid off with a pressing start, which was rewarded with the opening goal after only 8 minutes.
Josh Law cut in from the left and whipped a low ball into the six yard area where McDonald’s touch carried the ball past Michael McGovern for the perfect start.
The Aussie striker might have doubled the lead three minutes later when a fabulous pass from Moult sliced open the Accies defence but from an angle McDonald’s thumping drive was parried by the Hamilton ‘keeper.
Motherwell still had the upper hand when a typical burst and cross from Marvin Johnston just evaded McDonald and Moult in the six yard box.
Gradually the visitors found their feet and a low curling free kick from Crawford forced Connor Ripley into his first save, throwing himself to his left to beat the shot away. Minutes later Dougie Imrie fired a shot narrowly past the post as Accies threatened to draw level.
The equaliser duly arrived after 24 minutes when Crawford swept a free kick into a packed box and the towering Lucas climbed above everyone to nod the ball past Ripley.
Within three minutes Hamilton had grabbed the lead when Darian McKinnon tried his luck from 30 yards and his left foot shot drifted over Ripley and under the bar to turn the game on its head.
It took the home players a while to regain their composure and just before half-time almost grabbed the equaliser. Law’s in-swinging corner was punched out by McGovern but only as far as Johnston whose controlled half volley was net bound until blocked on the six yard line.
The equaliser was only delayed until a minute into the second half. ‘Well came flying out of the traps to break into the Accies box but after Moult fed the ball to McDonald the chance seemed lost as he fell to the turf but even grounded the striker showed his experience as he scooped the ball beyond the ‘keeper to make it 2-2.
That raised the tempo of the game as ‘Well looked to regain the upper-hand.
And after 56 minutes the home side reclaimed the lead with a super goal. Liam Grimshaw’s burst from the half way carried him past Antons Kurkans and when he curled his cross to the near post Moult’s glancing header sent the ball flashing past McGovern to make it 3-2.
With Accies chasing an equaliser more chances came ‘Well’s way the best falling to Johnston whose charge took him into the visitor’s box before his fierce left foot drive was palmed over the bar by McGovern.
While a fourth goal would have eased the tension in the closing minutes Ripley’s goal was seldom threatened until injury time.
And in the final minute the ‘Well keeper at full stretch brilliantly beat away Alex D’Ancol’s snapshot but as Gillespie fired the rebound into the packed box it struck Lasley’s raised arm allowing Crawford, who was lucky to escape a second yellow card twenty minutes earlier, to convert the penalty and cruelly deprive ‘Well of another three points.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FT: Motherwell 3 – 3 Hamilton Accies
95′ | 3-3
Goal – Crawford makes no mistake from the spot. 3-3
94′ | 3-2
Penalty to Accies! Lasley off for a second booking!
91′ | 3-2
Motherwell sub, Johnson off for Cadden
90′ | 3-2
Five minutes added on….
88′ | 3-2
Docherty goes close for Accies, drilling a shot just wide of the right hand post.
86′ | 3-2
McManus booked for hauling down Brophy on the touchline.
85′ | 3-2
Accies sub, Lucas off for Sendles-White
83′ | 3-2
Lengthy stoppage in play as the stretcher is out for Lucas, who took a sore one when a cross was delivered into the box.
81′ | 3-2
Motherwell sub, Moult makes way for Robinson
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78′ | 3-2
Accies sub, D’Acol on for Morris
77′ | 3-2
Referee goes for his pocket again, this time it is a booking for Kurakins.
75′ | 3-2
Johnson lashes a shot away from the edge of the box which McGovern does well to parry over the bar for a corner.
74′ | 3-2
Pearson tries a chip from range and it almost comes off,drifting inches wide of McGovern’s post.
72′ | 3-2
Promising Motherwell break ends with Grimshaw trying his luck from 20 yards but it is well over the bar.
71′ | 3-2
Accies sub, Redmond on for Imrie.
70′ | 3-2
Lasley booked for a trip on Crawford.
69′ | 3-2
5477 in attendance, 546 in the away end.
64′ | 3-2
Docherty goes for a run and does well to get down the right. His shot from 15 yards can only find the side netting.
57′ | 3-2
Grimshaw with a great burst down the right and ball into Moult whose diving header flies past McGovern!!
51′ | 2-2
Game is heating up as Crawford is booked for a rash tackle on Lasley.
50′ | 2-2
Now Imrie enters the book for handling the ball as ‘Well broke.
49′ | 2-2
Law booked for a late challenge on Imrie.
46′ | 2-2
At the second attempt, McDonald makes it 2-2 from Moult’s square ball!
Accies get the second 45 underway….
HT | 1-2
Motherwell 1 – 2 Hamilton Accies
1 minute added on
45′ | 1-2
Nice play down the right sets Law free in the box but with the angle narrowing, he can only shoot into the sidenetting.
40′ | 1-2
Close! Johnson rasps a volley into a crowded box which hits someone in the face as it looked goalbound!
38′ | 1-2
Grimshaw booked as Imrie goes down screaming. Straight back up though, and is absolutely fine.
28′ | 1-2
Goal – MacKinnon fires off a shot from range which nestles in the top corner. 2-1 to Accies.
25′ | 1-1
Goal – Lucas squares the game, nodding home Crawford’s whipped free-kick.
20′ | 1-0
Good save from Ripley, getting down low to Crawford’s free-kick and palming it to safety.
19′ | 1-0
Great wing play again from Johnson and a great cross to match but McGovern just gets there ahead of Moult.
14′ | 1-0
Brophy turns on the edge of the box and gets a left-footed shot away which thankfully trickles wide of the post.
11′ | 1-0
Very nearly 2 there as McDonald gets space down the right and fires off a shot but McGovern is equal to it, saving well.
7′ | 1-0
Law fires in a great low ball which McDonald gets the final touch on to make it 1-0 to the Steelmen!!
Motherwell get the game underway. COYW!!
Out come the teams………usual colours for both sides.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Hamilton Accies manager Martin Canning: