A stuffy first half had its big moment when Chris Long was dismissed for the visitors. Accies had the better of the chances in the second half but in the end Brian Rice’s side couldn’t find a way to goal.
Hamilton hadn’t won in seven and Motherwell hadn’t achieved victory in six. Both needed victories to get themselves out the blips they were enduring heading into this derby encounter.
Marios Ogkmpoe almost had Accies ahead three minutes in. David Moyo’s pass into the striker had the number 99 through on goal but Mark Gillespie matched it superbly with a block.
It was an early let-off for the Well defence who headed into this clash off the back of conceding four midweek against St Mirren. Rolando Aarons’ flashes effort was the closest Motherwell came to joy up the other end during a feisty opening ten.
David Templeton’s loose pass allowed Long to get behind the Accies line but he could only fire wide just after 20 minutes. It had went from frantic football to careful chess just as quickly as the weather was turning from Bahamas to Arctic Circle.
There was little for either support to get behind in attack as both sides looked for bright openings. Zero were forthcoming and it looked increasingly likely that a moment of individual brilliance was needed to unlock this game.
Long’s frustrations got the better of him. He picked up a silly booking for kicking the ball away before launching a lunge that caught Templeton. His game was over after 38 minutes.
Half time allowed Stephen Robinson to organise the approach with a man down whilst Rice would no doubt have been conjuring up methods to fully utilise their man advantage. The second half started off just the same as the first’s end, scrappy with no end product, outside a decent Ogkmpoe volley that Gillespie saved.
Tony Watt had a tame header saved by Luke Southwood but that’s as good as it was getting for the Well before 60 minutes. Being down a man in attack had blunted their forward efforts to an extent.
Similarly, Accies were also struggling to get past a sturdy Well backline. Templeton went close from range as Hamilton looked for new ways to goal, firing a good effort just over the bar.
Young Accies attacker Andy Winter was doing his best to ruffle the feathers of Motherwell’s defence with some neat runs. Hunt’s corner though almost ended up in the net as Gillespie flapped at it before the ball bounced dangerously wide.
Hamilton were beginning to pile on the attacking pressure as Motherwell got deeper and deeper, perhaps feeling the affects of the 120 minutes they had played on Tuesday. Declan Gallagher then found himself in acres of space but wasn’t able to bury Liam Polworth’s pinpoint cross.
Polworth himself had a stoppage time effort saved by Accies stopper Southwood as the game finished in a stalemate. The Well move up to third after Aberdeen’s Ross County defeat whilst Hamilton remain 11th. Here ae three things we learned.
Coping with ten
Motherwell had started the game with a 3-5-2 but Long’s sending off complicated things. Robinson mixed it up at half time, keeping the same personnel but deploying what looked like a 4-1-3-1 formation at times and a 4-3-2 at others.
It stood up well to what Accies were throwing at them although the attacking endeavours were limited.
Gogic the star man again
On multiple occasions this term has Alex Gogic taken centre stage as Hamilton’s main man. Here against Motherwell the Cypriot was the standout performer with another steely display.
Even with 11 men Motherwell weren’t getting a sniff and he played with a cigar and slippers once the visitors went down to ten. Another class display from the 25-year-old.
Two points dropped or a point gained?
Both sides may have mixed feelings about this result. Motherwell would have been looking for three given the difference in league position but to get one after surviving the second half with ten men may be a positive. Moving back up to third after Aberdeen’s defeat is another big boost off the back of this point.
Rice meanwhile may feel this was a chance to secure his second derby win. His men weren’t able to penetrate the claret and amber wall though as they put a further point between themselves and 12th placed Hearts.