Accies media team web reporter Mark Gillespie with Saturday’s match details…
Saturday 29th December 2018
Kick off 3 pm
Hamilton Academical 1 Motherwell 2
The end of year bragging rights went the way of the visitors as two goals in either half from Tom Aldred moved Motherwell seven points clear of ourselves in tenth spot.
It had looked all so promising as Dougie Imrie gave us the lead, only to be swiftly cancelled out at the other end. The ‘Well defender swooped at two set pieces to send Accies to a fifth defeat in the last six games.
As the curtain falls on 2018, we remain two points ahead of St Mirren and four clear of Dundee going into the winter break. Accies boss Martin Canning was disappointed at the manner of the goals conceded.
“The story of our season has been we’re inconsistent week to week, never mind half to half. In the first half I thought we were good going forward, but in the second half we didn’t have the quality to cause them problems.”
“We’ve lost two poor goal to set pieces today, and far too many headers in our own box. Their equaliser was a cheap one to concede, where we’ve lost possession at our own throw in and conceded a corner.
“I haven’t seen the winning goal back but I think there may very well have been a foul on Gary Woods. I also thought Mickel Miller was fouled in the build up to their free kick.
“Losing Scott and Aaron to injury during the game didn’t help us, but I won’t make excuses.”
“We need to try and freshen things up and get some players in January now. If we can add a few senior heads in there it’ll stand us in better stead for the second half of the season.”
Accies had to shuffle things around, making four changes from the defeat at Tynecastle. Shaun Want missed out due to suspension, with Tom Taiwo and Delphin Tshiembe out having picked up injuries. Darian MacKinnon was also out injured. Matt Kilgallon in his 400th senior start, and James Keatings were fit to return though, with Lenny Sowah also getting a start. Steven Boyd replaced Freddy Brustad up front hoping to repeat his spectacular winning strike in the Lanarkshire derby in August.
Stephen Robinson likewise made four changes to his line up. Curtis Main was suspended, while McHugh, Dunne and Rodriguez also missed out. In came Hartley, Grimshaw, Rose and Sammon, as the suspended ‘Well boss watched on from the stand.
In a first half which whizzed by, Accies were showing some nice touches early on. But Well had the first effort on goal on three minutes, as Danny Johnson fired wide after a bouncing ball on the edge of the Accies box.
We looked to have a great opening on the counter on seven minutes, with a two man overlap, but Keatings and Imrie collided as Steven Boyd floated the perfect ball in behind the Motherwell defence.
But we were in front on 16 minutes, Boyd again showing the vision to lift the ball over in behind and send Imrie clear. This time there was no one in his way and the skipper showed great composure to lift it beyond Gillespie.
Unfortunately, the lead only lasted four minutes, with Well winning a succession of corners. Elliot Frear’s delivery from the left was headed out to Tom Aldred on the edge of the box, and on the half volley he found Woods’ top corner.
The remainder of the half was to be an end to end affair. Accies continued to show a lot of endeavour and might have edged in front as a Keatings free kick deflected agonisingly past Gillespie’s right-hand post on 40 minutes
At the other end Woods showed good reactions to palm a Frear shot clear with a minute left of the half. Miller blasted over shortly later as Accies went on a swift counter.
It was a second half of fewer opportunities, the best chance falling the way of the visitors, and Connor Sammon on 58 minutes, his header held by Woods at point blank range.
Accies lost that attacking threat with the loss of McMann and McGowan on either flank and tried to regroup. Alex Gogic was drafted in for his first appearance after long term injury, as we tried to reshuffle and regroup.
You had the feeling that the next goal might sneak it, and increasingly it was the visitors who looked to be turning the screw, with the play more often than not taking place in the Accies half.
The winner came from the set piece as Turnbull launched a free kick over from the right. Woods looked to have been impeded, but Aldred was quickest to react in a crowded box to fire high past Woods.
Miller had to head a Frear header off his line a minute later, with Accies pushed deep. Ultimately Accies couldn’t find the craft to look like salvaging a point in the end as 2018 came to an end on a disappointing note.
Accies: Woods, McGowan (Gogic, 63), McMann (Penny, 49), Gordon, Kilgallon, Imrie (c), Keatings, Miller, Martin, Boyd, Sowah (Bingham, 79) Subs Unused: Fulton, Monlouis, Stanger, Brustad
Accies Goals: Imrie, 16
Accies Cautions: McGowan, 59
Motherwell: Gillespie, Aldred, McHugh, Dunne, Tait (Turnbull 35), Rodriguez, Campbell, Frear, Taylor- Sinclair (Livingstone, 59), Main, Johnson; Subs Unused: Ferguson, Bigirimana, Rodriguez, Maguire, Scott
Motherwell Goals: Aldred, 20, 75
Motherwell Cautions: Frear, 40, Turnbull, 51, Campbell, 90+1
Referee: Nick Walsh Assistants: Dougie Potter, Graeme Leslie, 4th Official: Lloyd Wilson