Accies media team reporter Mark Gillespie with his report from Saturday’s derby draw…

Scottish Premiership,

Foys Stadium, Hamilton

Saturday 22nd February 2019, 3pm

 Hamilton Academical 0 Motherwell 0

 

Our last league win came against our local rivals at the end of December, and a single point from this Lanarkshire derby should have been so much more. Chris Long’s first half sending off had the visitors on the back foot, but we couldn’t make the extra man count. Motherwell might even have nicked it at the end with couple of late chances.

It all goes down as a missed opportunity to increase the gap at the bottom. In the end we move two points clear of Hearts with a game more played.

It was a frustrating return to the dugout for head Coach Brian Rice. He gave his thoughts post-match:

“It’s two points dropped. I felt that we were the better team overall, even 11 v 11. We got into good areas against the ten players, but the quality wasn’t there, especially from wide areas. David Templeton’s had five or six shots at goal and normally he takes one of them, so it is frustrating. “

“Overall I thought we did enough to win the game. It doesn’t help having players out. I’m decimated, but that’s all I’ve got available today. We just tried everything we could with what we had available. I’ve got four first team players out and  Scott McMann’s called off sick this morning. The boys I had responded brilliantly and gave it everything.”

With McMann a late call off due to illness there were two changes from Tynecastle last weekend. Johnny Hunt and Blair Alston  both started with Jamie Hamilton out suspended.

Motherwell made four changes of their own, after midweek Scottish cup exertions.  Tait, Long, Gallagher and O’Hara replaced Grimshaw, Mugabi, Carroll and MacIver in Stephen Robinson’s starting eleven.

It was to be a lively first half at both ends, where Accies perhaps carved out their best opportunities to score. It might have been a different match had on form Marios Ogkmpoe put away a chance inside three minutes, put clean through by Alston, but Gillespie quick off his line to block.

Motherwell came into the game and went on to have their best spell of the game. Aarons had their first sight of goal, volleying a Watt cross into the side netting on 8 minutes. Polworth was on target ten minutes later from the edge of the box, firing straight at Southwood.

But it all boiled over soon after, with Long receiving quick consecutive yellows, firstly for dissent, and then for a late lunge on Templeton on 37 minutes. Accies would have a huge opportunity to win the three points.

We should have been in front five minutes later, Alston splitting the Motherwell defence for Hunt on the left, but his cross was just too heavy for Moyo to control his header the middle.

Chances were few and far between in the second half, as the ten Motherwell men sat deep and denied Accies space. We were reduced to efforts from distance, Templeton off target with a few edge of box efforts. Accies couldn’t find the killer ball and introduced Lewis Smith and Andy Winter to try and provide more options. Smith made an instant impact, setting up Ogkmpoe inside the Motherwell box on 54 minutes. The striker took it down well, but his low effort was held low by Gillespie.

We made attacking changes and threw numbers forward but it was starting to feel like one of those days as Scott Martin skewed wide from the corner of the box on 78 minutes.

Having soaked it up it was instead the visitors who might have stolen the three points at the end. Declan Gallagher caught the Accies defence napping at the back post from a free kick on 81 minutes, firing straight at Southwood. The Accies ‘keeper was again called upon as Polworth sent through on goal in injury time, standing up well to block. Accies are still looking for that first league win of 2020.

Accies: Southwood, McGowan (c), Hunt, Collar (Mimnaugh, 83), Alston (L Smith, 51), Gogic, Templeton, Moyo (Winter, 60), Want, Martin, Ogkmpoe; Subs Unused: Gourlay, McKenna,  Reilly, Redfern

Bookings: Hunt,  Gogic,

Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait, Hartley, Campbell, Watt (MacIver, 67), Long, Aarons (Hylton, 77), Polworth, Donnelly, Gallagher, O’Hara; Subs Unused:Carson, Grimshaw, Seedorf, Maguire, Mugabi

Bookings:O’Hara, 33, Long, 30,  Gillespie, 73

Red Card: Long 37 (second booking)

Referee: Colin Steven; Assistants: Drew Kirkland and Graham McNeillie; 4th Official: Bobby Madden

 Attendance: 2531