Motherwell just a point off top six

Louis Laing volleys home Motherwell's winning goal against Hamilton (Pic by Alan Watson)
Louis Laing volleys home Motherwell's winning goal against Hamilton (Pic by Alan Watson)

Motherwell moved within just one point of the Scottish Premiership top six after last Saturday’s 1-0 derby win at Hamilton Accies.

The result – thanks to defender Louis Laing’s fine first half strike – ended a seven-year gap between ’Well victories at New Douglas Park and put them five points ahead of their local rivals.

A feisty start to the match saw Accies trio Gordon, Kurakins and Kurtaj all booked for fouls within the first 10 minutes.

Motherwell had started the better team and almost went ahead after nine minutes when Scott McDonald’s 20-yard free-kick went just past the right hand post.

But the hosts missed a great chance on 25 minutes when Ali Crawford’s corner from the left led to ’Well keeper Connor Ripley saving Devlin’s close range header.

As play raged to the other end, Johnson’s cross from the right was miscontrolled by Pearson in a great scoring position.

Imrie had a fantastic chance to score on 32 minutes but shot just wide from the edge of the box with a curling left foot effort.

A misplaced pass by Motherwell centre back Ben Hall to Crawford then saw the Accies ace set up Kurtaj, whose effort was saved by Ripley.

Pearson’s left foot shot at the other end on 35 minutes was stopped low by McGovern.

The intense action continued as McDonald’s close range shot was blocked after Hammell’s corner three minutes later, before Hammell’s 20-yard drive was saved by McGovern.

At the other end, Kurtaj shot just wide after an Imrie head flick.

McDonald had a close range effort saved after Hammell’s 44th minute corner, but ’Well only had a minute to wait before going ahead when Laing swept a rebound high into the net after McDonald’s initial shot from another Hammell corner had been thwarted.

The second half began with Marvin Johnson’s effort drifting just wide of the far post before Scott McDonald shot into the side netting.

Motherwell had a glorious chance to make the points safe when they won a penalty for McGovern’s infringement on Chris Cadden.

But the Accies keeper redeemed himself by stopping Moult’s resultant spot kick low to his right.

’Well – who’ve conceded seven last gasp goals in recent matches – held on this time to earn the Lanarkshire bragging rights. Another win over bottom side Dundee United this Friday would make it three in a row.