Hamilton midfield goal hero Ali Crawford, kept his nerve by scoring a ninety-fifth minute equaliser from the penalty spot, giving Accies a much-needed share of the points, in a thrilling six-goal Lanarkshire derby at Fir Park.
Motherwell took an early lead when Scott MacDonald nudged the ball past Michael McGovern from close range. Hamilton fought themselves back into contention when Lucas Tagliapietra headed in from a free-kick, then Darian MacKinnon struck from twenty-five yards to give Accies a lead.
The Steelmen made an explosive start to the second half when MacDonald got his and Well’s second within the minute. Louis Moult added to Accies woe’s with a headed goal nine minutes later. But then against the run of play, Crawford hammered home from the spot to equalise for Accies, 3-3.
The Motherwell side remained unchanged, whilst Accies boss Martin Canning made two changes, Carlton Morris and Greg Docherty replacing Louis Longridge and Jesus Garcia Tena. The changed line-up saw Morris and Brophy both starting up front for Hamilton.
Motherwell had the best of the opening stages, playing with a bit more conviction than there Lanarkshire neighbours. They took the lead on nine minutes when Josh Law struck from the corner of the box, and McDonald helped over the line from close range.
Minutes later the Aussie striker struck into the Hamilton side netting after Marvin Johnson delivered a perfect ball into empty space for him. Accies then had a couple of half-chances, Tagliapietra headed tamely on goal, and Eamonn Brophy struck wide.
Johnson was proving his worth out on the left-hand side for Well, delivering another fantastic ball into the six yard box for Moult, but McGovern raced off his line to steal from his head. Ripley then saved from a twenty yard Crawford free kick, and Dougie Imrie shot wide from twenty-five yards.
The marked improvement paid off for Accies after being awarded a free-kick, out on the left-hand side. Crawford sent the ball in, and Tagliapietra rose to nod in from eight yards. MacKinnon then made it two, with a twenty-five yard strike that flew over Ripley’s head.
With a minute of the second half underway, Scott MacDonald drew his side level on his second attempt. The ball was played into the Accies penalty area by Moult, the Aussie striker swiped and missed from eight yards, but quickly recovered to score whilst still on the deck.
Hamilton weren’t at the races when a thirty-five yard free kick was sent into their penalty area, MacDonald nodded on towards Moult who headed inches wide. It wasn’t long though before Moult headed home, from a perfectly delivered Liam Grimshaw cross and a well-deserved lead.
Accies fought back towards the end, with Docherty and Crawford sending shots wide. Then well into extra time, a ten yard shot from Alex D’Acol was saved and came back out to Crawford. His shot was handled by Keith Lasley, a penalty was awarded and Crawford struck home for the late equaliser.
A disappointed Mark McGhee said: “The fact that we’ve drawn in the end is neither here nor there, I think overall it was a continuation of what’s been happening, these things happen and we’ve just got to get on with it.”
Accies boss Martin Canning added: “They work their socks off and worked right until the end. “And I think if you look back to midweek as well, against Inverness, we scored on the ninetieth minute and we scored again in the ninetieth minute today. “You don’t do that if you haven’t got character in your team and that’s the pleasing thing.”
Motherwell: Ripley, Hammell, Grimshaw, McManus, Pearson, Johnson (Cadden 91), Lasley, Law, Moult (Robinson 81), Hall, McDonald. Subs Unused: Samson, Laing, Clarkson, McFadden, Watt.
Hamilton Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie (Redmond 71), Crawford, Morris (D’Acol 78), MacKinnon, Brophy, Docherty, Tagliapietra (Sendles-White 85). Subs Unused: Martin, Longridge, Nade, Boyd.