Motherwell 1-3 Accies, 30th December

Martin McConnell with his take on Saturday’s derby victory

Ladbrokes Premiership

Fir Park, Motherwell

Saturday 30th December 2017 at 3pm.

Motherwell 1 Hamilton Academical 3

Another hard earned and well deserved three points ensured that we go into the New Year break, with the happier of the Lanarkshire fans. After going behind early, we got a foot into the game just before half time, then secured the comeback with a couple of great second half goals. We remain ninth, a single point behind the Steelmen and three from Killie and Saints.

Accies boss Martin Canning said afterwards, “A fantastic result, a fantastic performance from the boys as well. We went a goal down early and to have the composure to still stick to the way we wanted to play, get the ball down, be brave and pass it. It probably wasn’t a classic to watch, but the most important thing in a derby game is that you’ve got a desire to win the game. We had a big desire to win the game, and a 3-1 win away from home going into the break is a great result for us.”

Accies were outfought and outplayed for most of the first half, but crucially for ‘Well, Bowman combined well with Tanner to go in front after only three minutes. They had a chance to go two up minutes later, but Hamilton dug in to produce a few chances of their own and an unlikely leveller five minutes before half time when Dougie Imrie struck from the penalty spot.

With eight minutes played of the second half, Rakish Bingham finished a great solo run by firing past Trevor Carson to put Accies into the lead. A third followed when Greg Docherty picked up the ball, made a run and like his team mates, struck low to give Hamilton a two-goal lead that Motherwell were just unable to close.

Both sides made four changes to their starting line ups. For Accies, Rakish Bingham replaced Antonio Rojano, Ali Crawford for Danny Redmond, Massimo Donati for Georgios Sarris and Alex Gogic came in for Darren Lyon. For Motherwell, Hammell, Bowman, Campbell and Newell replaced Grimshaw, McHugh, Fisher and Dunne.

After a minute’s applause for former ‘Well hero Phil O’Donnell, to mark the 10th anniversary of his passing, the Steelmen took heart and left Accies reeling in the early stages. Bowman had a great chance to put ‘Well into a lead, with Woods saving, then stopping his second effort on the rebound. However, the scoreline was only delayed, when Bowman’s cross was guided into the top of the net by a sliding Tanner.

With quarter of an hour played, Hamilton looked lost and all at sea when Bowman created an almost identical effort after making a run down the left, beating two players then putting a great ball into the Accies six-yard box. Tanner looked odds on to make it two after finding himself a bit of space, but delayed his shot before sending it into the side netting.

Accies finally got a toehold in the game with almost 20 minutes played, Greg Docherty and Ali Crawford had sniffs at goal before David Templeton’s shot took a wicked deflection to go flying wide of the right-hand post. Massimo Donati followed that up with a header just over the cross bar from Crawford’s corner kick.

Accies continued to knock quietly on the door. Templeton had the ball in the back of the net, but the flag was raised early on for offside, then Crawford had a free kick caught in the wind and saved by Carson. With five minutes of the half left, Accies equalised when Dougie Imrie stroked the ball home from the penalty spot, after Hartley handled inside the penalty area from Crawford’s shot.

If the end of the first half wasn’t bad enough for Peter Hartley, the second began with his poor clearance finding Bingham 35 yards from goal. With a lot of work still to do, the big man used his speed to make an angled run in on goal. With plenty of time to think, he composed himself to slot a spectacular goal low into the corner of the net!

With fifteen left to play, Ali Crawford had a shot on goal blocked, then Greg Docherty gave the travelling Accies fans good reason to get the Hogmanay celebrations started early after picking up the ball just inside the ‘Well half, going on a run into the box that took out two men, then buried the ball past Carson into the bottom corner!

After the full time whistle video footage shows Motherwell’s Hartley reacting angrily to Dougie Imrie celebrating with our fans, and the ‘well player was reportedly shown a red card for violent conduct after the match (meaning he would miss Motherwell’s next game, which is against us in the Scottish Cup in three weeks time).

Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Hammell, Bigirimana, Hartley, Bowman, Rose (Fisher 62), Kipre, Campbell (Grimshaw 44), Newell (MacLean 73), Tanner. Subs Unused: Xenodochov, Livingstone, Turnbull, Maguire.

Goal: Tanner 3.

Cautions:Hartley, Hammell, Grimshaw.
Red Card: Hartley

Accies: Woods, McMann, Tomas, Imrie (c), Docherty, Bingham, Crawford (Redmond 81), Gogic, Templeton (Cunningham 88 ), MacKinnon, Donati (Lyon 58 ). Subs Unused: Gillespie, Biabi, Want, Fulton.

Goals: Imrie 40 pen, Bingham 53, Docherty 76.

Cautions: Tomas, Donati.

Referee: Andrew Dallas. Assistants: Stuart Stevenson & Michael Banks. 4th Official:Greg Aitken.

Attendance: 4890 (577 Accies).