Motherwell clinched a crucial victory over local rivals Hamilton to send Stephen Robinson’s men out of the relegation play-off spots.
It also means that the Steelmen now have a seven point gap over Inverness at the foot of the table, with just six points left to play for.
Louis Moult’s fortunate goal was the difference between the sides, who were both battling for their Premiership survival on the artificial Superseal Stadium surface.
And in truth it looked every bit like the derby scrap it was billed up to be, with yellow cards aplenty and little to separate the two sides.
Motherwell took a little while to get going, as the hosts pegged back Robinson’s side early on with a couple of freekick’s in the opening exchanges.
However, the travelling Fir Parkers looked a threat on the break with the pace and trickery of Elliott Frear, who was thwarted on the break by a cynical and dangerous foul by Michael Devlin – which in truth could have warranted more than just the early yellow card that referee Kevin Clancy brandished.
With neither team enjoying too many opportunities, Craig Clay, returning to the starting line-up in place of Lionel Ainsworth, had his head in his hands when his effort from the edge of the area whistled narrowly past the post.
The second half was a similarly scrappy affair, and Accies went close to going ahead.
Alex D’Acol was afforded too much time in the box and the forward’s effort was matched by a superb save from on-loan keeper Russell Griffiths – making his second consecutive start in claret and amber.
Eventually the deadlock was breached just after the hour mark when Frear’s in-swinging freekick was turned goalward by the shoulder of top-scorer Moult and past Remi Matthews for the forwards sixth Lanarkshire Derby goal of the season.
As the clock ticked down and three points drew tantalisingly closer, Robinson’s men dug in deep in the final few minutes, with David Templeton’s deflected effort wide the closest the hosts came to drawing level.
But as the final whistle was heard around the ground, wild celebrations in the sold out away end broke out as the players hailed the incredible travelling support.
It leaves the Steelmen with an all important clash on Tuesday night against Kilmarnock, with the opportunity to confirm Premiership survival.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Superseal Stadium
Louis Moult’s looping header gives the Steelmen a big, big win over their Lanarkshire neighbours. COYW!!!!
FT: Hamilton Accies 0 – 1 Motherwell
90+3′ | 0-1
Ainsworth fires just past from 20 yards!
90′ | 0-1
Four minutes added on.
90′ | 0-1
Pause in play as Clay goes down with a headknock.
…ball falls to Templeton whose shot is deflected wide for a corner. ‘Well clear and Templeton is booked for a shocker of a challenge .
86′ | 0-1
Accies have a free-kick in a good area. Crawford to take…
84′ | 0-1
Accies sub, Redmond off for Templeton.
84′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Ferguson on for Moult
77′ | 0-1
Motherwell sub, Frear off for Bowman. Corner coming up…
76′ | 0-1
MacKinnon booked for a clumsy looking tackle on Ainsworth.
75′ | 0-1
Accies sub, Docherty off for Brophy
75′ | 0-1
A let-off as McHugh is dispossessed but Hammell does superbly to cover and get it clear!
68′ | 0-1
Dochert booked for a shirt pull on Frear as he broke away.
66′ | 0-1
Hammell whips in a free-kick and it loops in off @louismoult’s shoulder!!! Come on!!!!
65′ | 0-0
Motherwell sub, Lasley off for Ainsworth.
56′ | 0-0
Matthews booked. Raced off his line to stop a quick throw-in.
55′ | 0-0
Great save by Griffiths! D’Acol with plenty of space inside the box but the on-loan ‘keeper is equal to his effort!
D’Acol gets the second 45 underway. COYW!!
Both teams are back out, it’s time for the second half.
HT: Hamilton Accies 0 – 0 Motherwell #HAFCvMFC
42′ | 0-0
Quite incredibly there is another yellow card, this time for Campbell for a foul in the middle of the park.
40′ | 0-0
McHugh booked. Was a foul in the touchline but can’t believe he’s produced a card.
38′ | 0-0
Great ball into the back post area by Crawford to Imrie. He takes it on his chest and volleys towards goal but Griffiths gathers.
36′ | 0-0
Bad challenge on the Motherwell captain by Docherty. No card shown though.
36′ | 0-0
Lasley booked. Was never a foul and ref books him for being frustrated at the poor decision.
34′ | 0-0
McDonald booked as he goes down under a challenge from Sarris. Ref says dive.
32′ | 0-0
Redmond again tries his luck from range but again it’s the same outcome. Well over the bar.
31′ | 0-0
Rash challenge by Crawford on Cadden earns him a booking.
20′ | 0-0
Redmond gets in behind the ‘Well defence and cuts it back to Crawford but he can’t hit the target, firing well over.
17′ | 0-0
Close! Moult lays it off for Clay whose shot slides inches past the post.
16′ | 0-0
Docherty picks up a loose ball about 30 yards out. Doesn’t really sit well for him and blasts it well over the bar.
10′ | 0-0
Shocker of a challenge from Devlin as Frear broke clear midway inside the Accies half. Booked.
8′ | 0-0
Crawford’s shot from distance is deflected out for a corner. Accies work it short but Redmond’s cross is high and wide.
….Moult strikes but it’s routine stop for Matthews
4′ | 0-0
McDonald clattered on the edge of the box. Free-kick coming up….
2′ | 0-0
Early Accies chance. Crawford with the free-kick from 20 yards but it’s well over the bar.
Campbell gets the game underway. COYW!!
Out come the two sides. Absolutely magnificent away support here!
Motherwell caretaker manager Stephen Robinson:
Hamilton Accies manager Martin Canning: