Phil McGheeat New Douglas Park
A solitary goal from Louis Laing just before half-time was enough to give ‘Well a long overdue victory at New Douglas Park and lift the side to within a point of a top six place.
It was a happy return for Mark McGhee who was the last Motherwell boss to record a win at Hamilton in 2009. It might have been more emphatic as ‘Well passed up a number of good chances including a Louis Moult penalty eleven minutes from time.
However, the Fir Park side did enough, especially in the first half to merit a win and set themselves up for the visit of Dundee United on Friday looking to make it three consecutive wins.
Not surprisingly the ‘Well boss stood by the same line-up and formation which served him well against Partick last week. And that led to positive start from Motherwell, who had the best of the first half in terms of possession and chances.
After nine minutes in the first of three early Accies bookings, Antons Kurakins clattered into Moult and McDonald’s curled free kick wasn’t far beyond Michael McGovern’s post.
Chris Cadden then worked his way along the goal line before setting up McDonald but his effort lacked conviction.
There was little action around Connor Ripley’s goal until 25th minute when Michael Devlin’s downward header rebounded from the foot of the ‘keeper’s post.
Most of the play was towards the home goal and after 36 minutes McGovern was at full stretch low to his left to palm away Stephen Pearson’s low measured shot.
From Hammell’s corner Moult’s header was blocked in front of goal and as the ball bounced around the six yard box McDonald’s effort on goal was also blocked.
The pressure on the home goal continued towards the interval and after cutting in from the right Johnson had a drive at goal. McDonald cut across the six yard box to get a touch only to see the ball rebound from the post.
‘Well we’re finally rewarded two minutes from the interval with the opening goal. Another Hammell corner found Moult. This time though, after his firm header was blocked on the line, the ball rebounded as far as Laing who lashed it high into the net from eight yards for the winner.
The Fir Park men started the second where they left off the first and a great ball from Moult set McDonald through, but McGovern quickly came out to bravely dive at his feet and smother the danger.
A tempting cross from Johnson then eluded everyone in front of goal but McDonald at the back of the area collected the ball before drilling his shot into the side netting.
At that stage a second Motherwell goal looked on the cards but gradually the second half became a game of safety first for both teams as players were chased and closed down.
Accies had a rare opportunity to test Ripley with a 22 yard free kick but Carlton Morris whipped his effort well over to leave the ‘Well ‘keeper untested and with a clean sheet.
At the other end a smart exchange with McDonald at the corner of the box set up Moult but his drive was straight at the Hamilton ‘keeper.
With eleven minutes remaining ‘Well’s top scorer had the perfect opportunity to add to his tally and ease the nerves when Cadden tumbled in the box as McGovern slid in to take the ball.
After a lengthy delay as the ref spoke to the ‘Well manager and the Accies kit man, after a dug-out altercation, Moult’s low spot kick was touched away by McGovern to make it a tense final ten minutes.
However, with Kieran Kennedy on to bolster the defence, Motherwell comfortably saw out the game for another crucial win over their Lanarkshire and relegation rivals.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at New Douglas Park
Long overdue win at New Douglas Park and richly deserved three points for the Steelmen!!!
93′ | 0-1
30 seconds remain….
90′ | 0-1
Four minutes added on.
86′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Moult off for Kennedy
84′ | 0-1
Last Accies sub, Diaby on for Lyon
80′ | 0-1
Cadden was brought down by McGovern and the keeper dived low to his right to save from Moult after a long wait.
Saved by McGovern!!
PENALTY TO MOTHERWELL!!
…. Morris takes and curls it well over the bar.
68′ | 0-1
Danger. Accies have a free-kick about 25 yards out in a central area….
64′ | 0-1
Accies sub, Crawford makes way for Brophy
55′ | 0-1
Hamilton Accies sub, Kurtaj off for Docherty
49′ | 0-1
Slack Accies defending allows Moult in. He threads it though to McDonald but McGovern reads it and saves at the Aussie’s feet.
46′ | 0-1
Early chance as the ball is floated in to the back post where it is met by the head of Johnson but it loops well over.
Motherwell get the second 45 underway. COYW!!
Both teams are back out for the second half
HT: Hamilton Accies 0 – 1 Motherwell
LOUIS LAING lashes in the opener from a corner. 1-0 to The Steelmen!!!
44′ | 0-0
Off the post! McDonald diverts Johnson’s shot onto the woodwork from 5 yards!
37′ | 0-0
Hammell takes the ball on his chest and it sits up nicely for a shot. He obliges but fires it straight at McGovern from distance
35′ | 0-0
McGovern is forced into action, diving low to his left to palm away Pearson’s placed shot.
34′ | 0-0
Imrie collects a slack pass out of defence and plays it wide to Kurtaj. His strike is gathered by Ripley.
32′ | 0-0
Great chance for Imrie! Would have bet on him bursting the net but can’t hit the target from just inside the box.
31′ | 0-0
Johnson uses his pace to chase a lost cause. He pulls it back to Pearson but he can’t get his feet right and Accies clear.
30′ | 0-0
Johnson gets on the end of Moult’s flick and volleys at goal. Just wide and linesman’s flag goes up anyway.
26′ | 0-0
Ball falls to Imrie about 30 yards out. He lashes at it but slices it well wide of the goal.
25′ | 0-0
Moult gets into space in the box and puts it into a dangerous area at the back post but Cadden can’t quite get there.
24′ | 0-0
Lucas gets his head on the corner but thankfully Lasley is there to clear his goalbound effort
24′ | 0-0
Good ball in from Irmie has to be dealt with by McManus who sticks it out for a corner.
22′ | 0-0
Cadden skips past Kurakins and finds McDonald but he is tightly marked by Lucas, who scrambles it clear.
17′ | 0-0
Imrie gets in behind the Motherwell defence but can’t pick anyone out with his square ball.
10′ | 0-0
Another booking and another wild challenge, this time from Kurtaj on Moult.
McDonald tries his luck and is unlucky as it curls just past the post.
8′ | 0-0
Kurakins with a wild challenge on Moult. He is booked and ‘Well have a free-kick in a good area, 25 yards out.
7′ | 0-0
Gordon grabs a handful of Johnson’s shirt as he broke away and enters the ref’s book. Yellow.
1′ | 0-0
Corner is worked short and it falls to Johnson who balloons it into Sainsbury’s car park.
Accies get the action underway, and already it’s a corner to Motherwell.
Out come both sides, usual strips for both #HAFCvMFC
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
Hamilton Accies Manager Martin Canning