Despite taking an early lead through Ioannis Skondras, we lost out 2-1 at home to Motherwell on Saturday afternoon (14th October), their winning goal coming five minutes into the second half.
SuperSeal Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 14th October 2017 at 3pm
Hamilton Academical 1 Motherwell 2
It was to be derby disappointment at the SuperSeal as we fell to a fifth successive league defeat. Once again, we did the hard part, taking the lead through a Skondras cracker, only to surrender the advantage early in the second half. Peter Hartley’s header was enough to secure the points for the visitors and move them up to 4th in the SPFL Premiership.
Accies meanwhile drop down to 9th, just ahead of Ross County, who we visit next weekend.
A disappointed Martin Canning reflected on some familiar issues after the game.
“It’s really frustrating. Instead of finding a way to win, we seem to find a way to lose. We’re making individual mistakes when you look back at the previous defeats and today. We’re not doing our jobs and it’s costing us. You can’t have a team putting as much in as we are, but to be making basic mistakes like that at set pieces.”
“We’re not ruthless enough in both boxes. It was a cheap second goal to lose, and right at the end Antonio puts a cross across and Steven Boyd’s got a tap in but misses the ball. It’s costing us.”
“It’s hard to pinpoint why we make these individual errors. We’re maybe lacking that leadership and experience on the pitch. We’ve got Dougie, Darian and Greg but sometimes we’re maybe lacking in more of that that and it’s costing us.”
With injuries to contend with the Accies boss made four changes to the side which lost to Rangers a fortnight ago. Ryan Fulton and Botti Biabi got their first league starts, with Darian MacKinnon returning from suspension in place of the injured Ali Crawford. Danny Redmond dropped to the bench with Massimo Donati coming into a reshaped midfield.
Opposite number Stephen Robinson meanwhile made just one change to his side from the victory over Partick, as Andy Rose replaced Craig Tanner.
Having finally been granted a work permit Antonio Rojano earned a place on the Accies bench, and the Argentinian certainly looked impressive in his short time on the field as Accies chased the game.
It was a frantic first half where we seemed to pick up where we left off against Rangers, with uncertainty spreading from back to front. ‘Well had the first chance within two minutes as Andrew Rose found space in the Accies box to square for Richard Tait, with Fulton tipping wide of his inside post.
We continued to live dangerously, scrambling off our line on 8 minutes, but against all the odds and run of play we took a sensational lead with our first foray on 14 minutes. Dougie Imrie got the ball wide and hung a high cross into the box, headed clear only as far as Skondras, who launched the sweetest of strikes into Carson’s far corner.
The goal seemed to settle us down in defence, but the game still swung end to end. It could have been even better when Bingham forced an acrobatic stop from Carson from the edge of the box on 25 minutes. We then had a good shout for a penalty turned down a minute later, as Docherty went down under a Kipre challenge in the area.
It was a period when both sides looked like scoring in the final third. ‘Well were continuing to find space at the other end and were duly level just after the half hour. Bowman had headed over on 30 minutes, before a long ball forward found Rose on the corner of the box, to angle a low finish into Fulton’s corner.
Uncertain again in defence, we were at least looking sharper at the other end. Bingham was next to try his luck, crashing a shot at goal from the edge of the box on 35 minutes, which Carson tipped wide.
After such a pulsating opening 45, the second half was a more disjointed affair, but ‘Well got their noses in front on 50 minutes, as they won a free kick down the right. Cadden’s delivery to the back post found Peter Hartley unmarked to head past Fulton.
Hartley was lucky to escape a two minutes later, as he tangled with Biabi inside the box. Referee Craig Thomson again waved away strong Accies penalty claims.
Committing players forward, we searched for ideas to salvage a point, but Well held firm, looking comfortable, without threatening much further damage. We rang the changes as we chased the game, throwing on Rojano and Steven Boyd for the closing stages. The two almost linked up on 87 minutes, but the Argentine’s square ball fell just behind the Accies man.
Instead ‘Well ought to put the game beyond us in injury time, as Ryan Bowman somehow headed wide from acres of space in the Accies box. Despite our best efforts the visitors saw it out for the three points.
Accies: Fulton, Tomas, Skondras (Rojano 84), McMann, Imrie (c), Docherty, Bingham, Gogic, Biabi (S Boyd, 76), MacKinnon, Donati (Redmond, 63); Subs Unused: Jamieson, Longridge, Lyon, Ferguson.
Goals: Skondras 14.
Cautions: Imrie, Biabi.
Motherwell: Carson, Tait, Hartley, Cadden (Frear 75), McHugh, Moult (Tanner 87), Campbell, Bowman, Rose (Bigirimana 84), Dunne, Kipre; Subs Unused:Griffiths, Hammell, Grimshaw, Fisher.
Cautions: McHugh, Campbell.
Referee: Craig Thomson Assistants: Graeme Stewart and Stuart Stevenson 4th Official: Craig Napier