Motherwell and Hamilton Accies played out a truly pulsating 3-3 derby draw at Fir Park on Saturday which kept a big crowd royally entertained.
The 5734 punters in the stadium were treated to a topsy turvy, full blooded goal fest in which Motherwell’s superior football was matched by Accies’ muscle and determination.
The home team’s fast start was rewarded on seven minutes when Josh Law’s run and cross from the left was expertly flicked home by Aussie forward Scott McDonald.
It was nearly 2-0 four minutes later when McDonald’s rasping shot after a fine pass by strike partner Louis Moult was stopped by Accies keeper Michael McGovern at his near post.
At this stage, the ’Well fans belting out Beatles hit Twist and Shout thought their favourites were on course for a fourth straight league win.
But Accies started to gain a foothold and Eamonn Brophy shot wide before an Ali Crawford free-kick was well saved by home keeper Connor Ripley. And Dougie Imrie shot wide for Accies on 20 minutes after a fine run.
But the equaliser did arrive just four minutes later when Crawford’s free-kick from the left was headed in by giant centre half Lucas Tagliapietra.
It wasn’t long before Accies went 2-1 up when Darian MacKinnon sent a stunning left foot shot from outside the box into the top right corner.
As ’Well tried to mount a comeback, Johnson had a 40th minute volley after a corner blocked and Law shot into the side netting.
But it was 2-2 just a minute into the second half when McDonald – despite lyin g on his backside – scored at the second attempt from inside the penalty area.
It was a thrilling, spicy contest now with fierce challenges galore and bookings aplenty.
And Motherwell went 3-2 up when a brilliant run and cross on the right by Liam Grimshaw set up Moult to head into the net in brilliant fashion.
Grimshaw then shot over from the edge of the box before Ripley saved Crawford’s half volley at the other end.
Tagiapietra was stretchered off with a neck injury and the time added on for this was the reason for the lateness of Accies’ equaliser.
Ripley saved Alexandre D’acol’s initial effort before Crawford’s shot from the rebound was blocked by Keith Lasley for the concession of a 94th minute penalty.
Lasley was sent off before Crawford stepped up to score and earn Accies a point.