Tom Aldred scored twice as Motherwell fought back against Hamilton Accies to earn a crucial 2-1 victory at The Hope Stadium on Saturday, writes Craig Goldthorp
The result provides a major boost for the Steelmen, sending them into the three-week winter break on a high having lost their previous three games.
Motherwell striker Danny Johnson sent two early efforts wide in this passionate local derby, with Accies' Mickel Miller having a shot blocked by a defender at the other end.
The boisterous and large Motherwell travelling support observed a minute's applause in memory of late club legend Phil O'Donnell, 11 years to the day since his tragic death after collapsing on the Fir Park pitch.
Playing his last game for Motherwell before a move to the USA next month, Andy Rose almost marked the occasion with a goal as his bullet header from a 13th minute Ellliott Frear corner hit the side netting.
It was Hamilton who went ahead on 16 minutes when Scott McMann's long ball forward sent Dougie Imrie through and he shot low past Mark Gillespie.
Motherwell tried for a quick response but Hartley headed wide from a Frear corner.
The Steelmen netted a fine 20th minute equaliser when centre back Aldred volleyed in spectacularly after Frear's corner from the left had been partially won by Hartley.
Frear was excelling down the left wing and his latest cross was just blocked by a defender before it reached Sammon.
Motherwell's defensive injury jinx struck again after 34 minutes when Richard Tait limped off after being caught high by Accies defender Lenny Sowah. Tait was replaced by David Turnbull.
After Frear had been booked for a foul on Aaron McGowan, Accies came agonisingly close to scoring when James Keatings' free-kick was deflected inches wide of the left post.
Frear then produced a thumping 44th minute shot which was well saved by Gary Woods.
The first chance of the second half saw Sammon's weak volley go well wide after a Turnbull knockdown.
Yet another Frear run and cross set up Sammon, but the striker sent a poor effort straight at Woods.
Taylor-Sinclair then went off injured and was replaced by Adam Livingstone.
Motherwell went ahead on 76 minutes when Frear's long free-kick saw Peter Hartley challenge for the ball with keeper Woods. The ball broke to Aldred who emphatically thumped the ball into the roof of the net for his second.
The fantastic away support behind the goal went wild as they celebrated what is a crucial three points.
Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait (Turnbull 34), Taylor-Sinclair (Livingstone 58), Aldred, Hartley, Hartley, Campbell, Frear, Grimshaw, Rose, Sammon, Johnson.
Referee: Nick Walsh