The same eleven that won in Aberdeen in midweek kicked off facing the small away support in the South Stand. Jeffers made his home debut but the nature of the game offered him few chances.
Hamilton set out to obstruct and defend and they were more than happy to retreat into the last third, hoping to grab a goal on the break. They defended stoutly and were quick to deny space. The result was that the ball spent a long time in the air and the passing game that served us so well in midweek was snuffed out.
Gunning produced the first goal threat when he burst beyond a couple of defenders to deliver a tempting ball across the face of the goal. Sutton was close but contact eluded him. Forbes sent in a free kick that Jeffers headed and the ‘keeper did well to block.
What turned out to be the only goal of the game came in thirty five minutes following a pull by Canning on Sutton a yard inside the box. The penalty was awarded on the striker picked himself up, placed the ball on the spot and sent it low to Cerny’s left.
Before the break Forbes took a free kick that needed a good save from the goalkeeper but when the teams trooped into the dressing rooms it was clear that Motherwell had the better of the game.
The second half was a poor affair. Hamilton pushed forward in greater numbers but we were unable to take advantage of the extra space that appeared up front. At times it seemed that we were sitting back. Randolph was well protected and any half chances that fell to the visitors were squandered.
Our best chances to kill off the game came in the final ten minutes. By this time Hammell and Humphrey had replaced Forbes and Jeffers and it was the winger who was able to create the best of our chances. He crossed to Murphy but the resulting header was just wide. Next, his run down the wing was followed by an infield move into the box and a wild shot when a pass to Sutton might have been preferred.
Hammell charged through the midfield and, urged on by the growing clamour from the stands, it seemed that he would force his way into the box. Instead he squared to Murphy who set up Sutton and his attempt at a curler into the top corner just missed.
It was not a pretty game but the valuable points keep us in fifth place. The back to back wins this week set us up nicely for a rearranged game against St Mirren on Wednesday. Can we make it three in a row?