If ever a club needed to ring out the old and bring in the new, it’s Hamilton Academical. Yesterday’s match was the 11th time during the current campaign that they have failed to cash in on being in a winning position, although the nature of their late collapse here angered their supporters – who called for manager Martin Canning to go – more than most.
Canning, for his part, must be wondering which ladder he walked under as basic errors once again cost his side vital points.
The fury of the fans was intensified by the fact that Motherwell had been reduced to ten men after less than half an hour.
“This feels like the worst one,” said Canning. “Everybody is hurting. We lost a goal nearly as late against Inverness and it happened against Hearts when we conceded two in the last couple of minutes.
“We are throwing away cheap points and, at this level, you are going to be in trouble if you keep doing that. We need to make sure that when we come back we get our finger out and kill teams off rather than giving them opportunities.”
Hogmanay can bring closure and that would appear to be the case with Hamilton’s German-Ghanaian utility player Lennard Sowah.
The 24-year-old signed a short-term contract in October, which expires today. Accies have attempted to keep him at the Superseal Stadium but he has told them he wishes to return to Germany.
Nonetheless, he started yesterday, although he was rarely involved in a robustly competitive derby.
Scott McDonald should have buried a free header in the fourth minute instead of steering it directly at goalkeeper Gary Woods.
Accies lost Danny Redmond early on to a head wound and they were grateful to skipper Mikey Devlin for the goalline clearance which kept out Craig Clay’s header from a Lee Lucas delivery.
Lucas also didn’t last until half-time but that was entirely down to his own foolishness. The midfielder’s two-footed lunge on Massimo Donati was always going to result in a red card.
Ali Crawford took the resulting free kick and Craig Samson had to be at his best to turn his attempt from 25 yards behind for a corner.
Hamilton had mostly been on the back foot until Clay’s dismissal but then they moved into the ascendancy.
Crawford fired home after Samson could not hold a fierce drive by Gramoz Kurtaj but the goal was correctly disallowed for offside.
Alex D’Acol finally gave them the lead when he headed home a Crawford cross but Accies failed to gain a two-goal cushion when Stephen McManus cleared a Crawford shot off the line and Louis Moult, who had twice been denied by Woods after the break, pounced at the death, meeting Carl McHugh’s delivery with a downward header to net his 11th goal of the season.
“How their most dangerous player ends up in the middle of the six-yard box by himself at that stage of the game, I’ll never know,” said Canning.