Accies media team web reporter Mark Gillespie was at NDP on Wednesday night for the Lanarkshire Derby….
at Foys Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton
on Wednesday, 21st April, 2021, kick off 6pm
Hamilton Academical 0 Motherwell 1
Brian Rice says his side still hold survival in their own hands ahead of two make or break games on the road. A scrappy final derby of the season boiled down to a five minute spell near the end of the first half. Ronan Hughes’ red card became doubly worse when Mark O’Hara’s struck the opener a few minutes later. It proved enough to settle the points, Accies struggling to create in a niggly game of few openings. It all leaves us still three points adrift with just three games remaining. The Head Coach insists his side have what it takes to make a great escape.
“We can get out of this situation, of course we can. It’s disappointing to lose tonight, but nothing’s decided. It just makes it more difficult for us”, he said post-match.
“I thought tonight there wasn’t much in it. It was a poor goal for us to lose and it came at a good time for them. We lacked creativity tonight. I never question the players’ work rate and effort for the club. With 10 men it was tough. We just never had the guile or know how tonight to break Motherwell down.”
“They’re all tough games. We know what we need to do, and we’ll talk about it tonight. The players will have their say and I’ll have mine. We just need to go harder, quicker, and stronger. One plus was it was good to get Lewis Smith and Nathan back on the pitch. Lewis hasn’t trained with the first team since much earlier in the season but showed sparks of what we’ve been missing.
Accies had carved out a host of chances last time out but this one turned out frustratingly different. The head coach named the same starting 11 from 10 days ago, looking for a clean sweep in the derbies this season. O’Hara was one of two changes from Motherwell’s cup line up at the weekend, Magloire also starting in midfield. Graeme Alexander’s side were out for the points to secure their own league status for next season.
Accies’ best opening came just two minutes in, Scott McMann floating a set piece to the back post. Hakeem Odoffin drove it back across goal with no takers in the middle. But for that most of the game took place in a highly contested midfield third. The visitors forced the first save of the game, Kyle Gourlay tipping a Devante Cole effort wide from the edge of the box on 10 minutes.
Then came the big moment. With both sides scrapping for every ball, Hughes challenged Robbie Crawford for a 50-50 ball on halfway, in front of both dug outs and referee. It gave Kevin Clancy a decision to make and he adjudged it high and dangerous. Accies were a man down on 32 minutes.
It went from bad to worse four minutes later as Motherwell took the lead. Accies were sitting in deep, allowing Chris Long to cut back for O’Hara inside a crowded box to angle a low right footer into Gourlay’s far corner. Accies looked disjointed and Motherwell almost added to their lead on the half time whistle, Stephen O’Donnell’s long ball finding Cole in the box but he flashed just wide.
Opportunities were hard to come by after the break. Bruce Anderson registered the sole Accies shot on target, firing straight at Kelly on 64 minutes, as Lee Hodson helped a long ball on from the edge of the Motherwell box. We continued to launch balls forward, but with no one holding the ball up front. Accies turned to the bench for different options, Lewis Smith making his first appearance since November to try and find more craft.
But Accies just couldn’t get going and break down the Motherwell defence. Instead the visitors might have added to their lead in the closing stages, O’Donnell flashing across goal on 78 minutes, and O’Hara just off target after a Barry Maguire corner.
Accies: Gourlay, Odoffin, McMann, Easton (c)(Mimnaugh, 70), Hamilton, Anderson, Hughes, A Martin, Munro, Hodson (Thomas, 78 ), Callachan (L Smith, 67); Subs Unused: Scully, Stirling, Stanger, Moyo, Redfern, C Smith
Booking: Odoffin, 7, Callachan, 31
Red Card: Hughes 32
Motherwell: Kelly, Lamie, McGinley, Campbell, O’Hara, Crawford, Long (Maguire, 63), Gallagher, O’Donnell, Magloire, Cole; Subs: Chapman, Carroll, Hastie, Lawless, Mugabi, Dunne, Cornelius, Foley
Goal: O’Hara, 36
Bookings: Long, 26
Referee: Kevin Clancy; Assistants: Dougie Potter & Gordon Crawford; 4th Official: Nick Walsh