Scottish Premiership
Hamilton0Motherwell1

Hamilton Academical 0-1 Motherwell

Louis Moult's header gave Motherwell a crucial win over Hamilton Academical and lifted them out of the Scottish Premiership relegation play-off spot.

Moult's looping header dropped beyond Remi Matthews just after the hour.

That came after Accies missed the best chance of the game, Alex D'Acol being denied by a Russell Griffiths save.

Motherwell edge three points clear of their Lanarkshire rivals, who remain four clear of bottom side Inverness with two games to play.

Derby fever

This had been described beforehand as the biggest ever Lanarkshire derby but, whatever the history, neither side needed a reminder of the importance.

It was little wonder then that any notion of pretty football made way for a stodgy and hard-fought battle.

In the early stages, the ball was continually bludgeoned from end to end. The football was scarce but the spirit was there for all to see and referee Kevin Clancy was forced to flash numerous yellow cards. Motherwell forward Scott McDonald received his for diving.

Craig Clay fired just wide for the visitors and Ali Crawford should have done better with a chance from 15 yards, but blasted high over the bar - nerves perhaps playing their part with both sets of players.

Forward struggle

Alex D'Acol of Hamilton Academical shields the ball from two Motherwell players
Accies striker Alex D'Acol passed up a huge opportunity to score before Moult's opener

Neither of these sides have been particularly potent in front of goal in recent weeks and on this showing it was easy to see why.

The few through-balls that did find their target were followed by wayward efforts from strikers looking short of confidence.

D'Acol should have blasted the home side ahead 10 minutes after the break but his close-range volley was well blocked by Griffiths in the Motherwell goal.

The Well forwards were looking sluggish, too, and the impressive link-up play shown by McDonald and Moult earlier in the campaign was conspicuous by its absence.

Precious breakthrough

Moult has scored 17 times in all competitions this season and added to that tally midway through the second half.

Elliot Frear swung in a free-kick from the right and the ball might have struck Moult's shoulder rather than his head, but still looped high over Matthews.

It was a scrappy goal to match a scrappy game, but the wild celebrations in the packed away stand was evidence that the result was all that mattered.

When the full-time whistle sounded, the 2,312-strong visiting contingent erupted in celebration as the Hamilton players slumped to the ground spent.

It was a massive win that Motherwell probably deserved. The quality will be quickly forgotten but the scars of battle will take some time to heal.

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "I thought we were the better team, to be honest. It was always going to swing on something minor and if you can't defend your box, you're in trouble.

"The boys are working hard but you have to make sure you're hard to score against and right now that's not happening for us.

"Ross County on Tuesday is now a must-win game. I said to the players at the split we had to win two games from five. We now need to win two games from two. It's that simple."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "When you lose it destroys your week and when you win it's just relief.

"It was always going to be a tough game and there's was nothing between the sides. It was a pure battle but I think we won the battle.

"To go with three points into Tuesday night (when Motherwell host Kilmarnock) gives us real belief. There's a commitment and belief that we can go on and take three points on Tuesday as well."

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1MatthewsBooked at 56mins
  • 3Skondras
  • 89Sarris
  • 4DevlinBooked at 11mins
  • 6Gillespie
  • 8DochertyBooked at 69minsSubstituted forBrophyat 75'minutes
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 77mins
  • 11CrawfordBooked at 30mins
  • 7Imrie
  • 9D'Acol
  • 10RedmondSubstituted forTempletonat 84'minutesBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 14Gogic
  • 15Bingham
  • 17Longridge
  • 20Brophy
  • 21Donati
  • 34Woods
  • 37Templeton

Motherwell

  • 13Griffiths
  • 12Cadden
  • 4Heneghan
  • 8McHughBooked at 41mins
  • 3Hammell
  • 20Clay
  • 26CampbellBooked at 43mins
  • 14LasleyBooked at 36minsSubstituted forAinsworthat 66'minutes
  • 17FrearSubstituted forBowmanat 78'minutes
  • 9MoultSubstituted forFergusonat 85'minutes
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 34mins

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 11Bowman
  • 21Jules
  • 25Ferguson
  • 31Pain
  • 34Livingstone
  • 36Gordon
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
4,173

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home7
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home15
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Motherwell 1.

Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Foul by David Templeton (Hamilton Academical).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

David Templeton (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Russell Griffiths.

Attempt saved. David Templeton (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. David Ferguson replaces Louis Moult.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. David Templeton replaces Daniel Redmond.

Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ryan Bowman replaces Elliott Frear.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Georgios Sarris.

Booking

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Cadden (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Greg Docherty.

Attempt missed. Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical).

Elliott Frear (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Hamilton Academical 0, Motherwell 1. Louis Moult (Motherwell) header from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Elliott Frear with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Keith Lasley.

Foul by Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical).

Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Elliott Frear (Motherwell).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Russell Griffiths.

Booking

Remi Matthews (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt saved. Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Foul by Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical).

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic363240992574100
2Aberdeen362241066343270
3Rangers361810853411264
4St Johnstone36167134844455
5Hearts361210145549646
6Partick Thistle361012143843-542
7Kilmarnock36914133451-1741
8Ross County36913144355-1240
9Dundee36107193856-1837
10Motherwell3698194165-2435
11Hamilton36614163153-2232
12Inverness CT36513183969-3028
View full Scottish Premiership table

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