Hamilton defeated Motherwell 4-1 at Fir Park in an action-packed Lanarkshire derby which featured two red cards and two penalties.
The away side took the lead thanks to Bruce Anderson, with Ross Callachan, Marios Ogboe and David Moyo also finding the back of the net. Mark O’Hara scored Motherwell’s goal.
Both teams went into the game on the back of good results. Hamilton deservedly held Rangers to a 1-1 draw last week. Whilst Motherwell picked up three points in midweek when they defeated Kilmarnock 1-0.
The game started with a bang as Hamilton took the lead in the seventh minute. Bruce Anderson had plenty of space in the box to meet Ross Callachan’s cross on the turn and fire home from cross range.
Minutes later it could have been 1-1, but Bevis Mugabi headed over the bar from a corner.
Anderson almost had his second goal in the 11th minute. However, his effort from the edge of the box was deflected wide.
Hamilton were dominant, having plenty of the ball. Marios Ogkmpoe was next to have an effort on goal, but his header ended up on the roof of the net.
Then came the moment that changed the game. In the 18th minute Motherwell captain Stephen O’Donnell was sent-off for a last man foul on Callachan as he strived to head the ball home from a flick on.
Callachan made it 2-0 from the spot in the 19th minute. Interestingly, it had to be taken twice. When he scored the first time O’Donnell wasn’t off the pitch yet.
Motherwell boss Graham Alexander was booked by referee David Munro in the 24th minute, presumably for protesting about the penalty award.
Anderson again came close to adding to his tally in the 28th minute. But he headed over the bar as Hamilton continued to dominate.
A third goal looked inevitable, and it arrived in the 31st minute. Ogkmpoe and Anderson worked a one-two and Ogkmpoe blasted the ball home from the edge of the penalty area, as Hamilton went 3-0 up.
Motherwell attempted to stem the flow of chances by making a first-half sub, as Chris Long was replaced by Tyler Maglorie. However, moments later Hamilton almost had a fourth, with Jamie Hamilton’s volley going just wide.
Hamilton were then forced into a first-half change, Scott Martin replacing the injured Charlie Trafford.
The second-half started with less incident than the first, as Motherwell tried to find a way back into the game.
The Steelmen had a fair amount of possession and some dangerous set-pieces but were unable to make any count.
The game returned to life in the 64th minute as Hamilton scored their fourth goal. Scott McMann was the architect. His cross was swept home by David Moyo, who had only just come on a few minutes earlier.
Motherwell got on the scoresheet minutes later. Devante Cole was fouled in the box, and Mark O’Hara’s penalty just evaded Ryan Fulton’s grasp.
Motherwell’s day went from bad to worse when Graham Alexander was shown a second yellow card by David Munro and had to watch the last 10 minutes of the game from the stand.
There were no further goals in what was a memorable day for Hamilton and one to forget for Motherwell. Here are three things we learned:
Hamilton’s strikers shone in the game, particularly the partnership of Bruce Anderson and Marios Ogkmpoe. Both men scored, and their link-up play was evident with the one-two that lead to Ogkmpoe’s goal. With David Mayo also getting on the scoresheet Hamilton’s strikers look to be coming into form at just the right time.
Red card had big impact
The red card awarded to Stephen O’Donnell did change the game. Although Motherwell were a goal down at the time of the sending-off, they were left with a mountain to climb after the red card and penalty. Graham Alexander will be ruing the fact that the game was practically over after 20 minutes.
Tight at the bottom of the table
Hamilton’s win has big implications at the bottom of the table, as they moved above Ross County on goal difference. Brian Rice’s team showed that last week’s battling display against rangers wasn’t a one-off. They played some excellent football at Fir Park. Hamilton will be desperate to keep this run going, and they can in midweek when they take on St Mirren.