What a difference a win makes. Motherwell's makeshift side with its manager banished to the stand produced a stirring comeback that ended with a chorus of 'Since I Was Young' that could be heard all over Hamilton.
It was a win that shone some light into the gloom that had built up as the disappointing December had produced only four miserable points from a possible twenty one. A loss in the last game of the year would have let our neighbours all but close the gap and send us into the winter break with the burden of three consecutive losses.
The boys in claret and amber passed the test with flying colours. After a first half with little between the teams Motherwell took control and deserved the reward. As a bonus the game produced a hero. Tom Aldred, a no nonsense centre half, who produced fine finishes with either foot. His wholehearted celebrations were matched by the 2,250 in the 'Well stand.
A welcome time for rest and recovery has arrived and it will be accompanied by the peace of mind that comes with a relatively benign league position. Results elsewhere served to bolster our ninth place and reduced the chance of a chaser catching us.
The transfer window is expected to see a fair amount of movement at Fir Park. The manager has made much of the need to strengthen our attack. Ryan Bowman seems certain to leave and there are whispers of a bid for Curtis Main. Ross McCormack's appearance in the New Douglas Park stand in the company of Alan Burrows suggests that he may join the long list of players who return to Motherwell after making hay elsewhere. There is some doubt whether he will be able to fit inside his eleven year old strip.
We return to action on 19 January when Ross County visit for the Scottish Cup tie.