Hamilton 1 - 2 Motherwell: Steelmen fight back to win derby

Peter Hartley, right, celebrates after giving Motherwell the lead. Picture: SNS
Peter Hartley, right, celebrates after giving Motherwell the lead. Picture: SNS
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The main topic of conversation at the SuperSeal Stadium this week has been about the breaches of security which saw them lose £750,000 due to cyber theft.

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However, it was the pressing need for security in their defence which was the main talking point for their supporters as they left the ground following a fifth successive defeat.

While Motherwell – who now occupy fourth position and have a BetFred Cup semi-final against Rangers to look forward to in seven days’ time – are on a roll, Accies are in a rut.

Manager Martin Canning, in fairness, did not attempt to use the club’s financial problems as an excuse for this latest reverse.

“I don’t think that affected us at all,” he said. “We can’t affect that situation; all we can do is get on the pitch and work away and the boys put in a lot of effort.

“You hear about teams who find a way to win but we seem to be finding ways to lose, which is obviously disappointing. We’re making individual mistakes; you look back at the games against St Johnstone, Hearts, Rangers and here today.

“We’re not doing our jobs well enough and that is costing us. You can’t have that.”

Unsurprisingly, in-form Motherwell were on the front foot from the outset and came close to taking the lead in the second minute when a superb diving save from Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper Ryan Fulton denied Richard Tait.

The visitors dominated the early exchanges and Louis Moult should have been awarded a penalty when Alex Gogic, who had conceded a penalty in Hamilton’s previous game against Rangers, pushed Moult to the ground.

Referee Craig Thomson ignored the striker’s appeals and, galvanised by that escape, Accies took the lead in their first attack of note.

Dougie Imrie overhit his cross for Rakish Bingham but was still able to claim an assist when it landed at the feet of full-back Iaoannis Skondras, who beat Trevor Carson from eight yards with an emphatic angled drive.

The Irishman then threw himself to his left to turn away a shot from Bingham and Accies were also refused a penalty when Greg Docherty went to ground following a tackle from Cedric Kipre.

Ryan Bowman headed a Cadden corner just over as Motherwell forced their way back into the game and they drew level when Skondras mishit an attempted clearance to Andrew Rose, who beat Fulton with a venomous half-volley from just inside the penalty area.

Carson again saved well from Bingham’s 20-yarder just before the break but Motherwell took advantage of slack defending to move in front six minutes into the second period.

Only Canning’s players will know why central defender Peter Hartley was allowed the freedom of the six-yard box to force home a Cadden free-kick.

Both teams had chances after that, with Hamilton’s Steven Boyd and Motherwell’s Ryan Bowman guilty of missing pinches, but the outcome was undoubtedly just.

“I thought we deserved the win,” said Motherwell manager Steven Robinson. “We knew what this was going to be but we picked a team to fight, battle and scrap and we did that.

“I think it shows the quality we have when we have guys like Elliott Frear and Gael Bigirimana coming off the bench.”

“Now we can concentrate on the semi-final next week and I feel that we have a big chance of getting to the final.

“I watched the Rangers game [their 3-0 win against St Johnstone] on Friday night and we are going into the game with confidence, as they will be too. We’re looking forward to it but all the expectation is on them.”

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