Motherwell gained the bragging rights in the Lanarkshire derby
By Andy Campbell
Motherwell triumphed in the Lanarkshire derby to compound Hamilton Accies' relegation fears.
John Sutton won the home side a penalty and converted it himself nine minutes ahead of the interval.
Hamilton goalkeeper Tomas Cerny kept the visitors in the match with saves to deny efforts by Francis Jeffers, Jamie Murphy and Ross Forbes.
But Jim McAlister could not find the net when presented with Accies' best chance, the winger heading over.
Scottish Premier League bottom club Accies remain five points adrift of St Mirren, who host Hibernian on Sunday, while the Steelmen move to within two points of fourth-place Kilmarnock.
Hamilton started brightly and Flavio Paixao's shot required a save from Darren Randolph.
McAlister, who had earlier had a shot charged down but the Motherwell defence, crossed for Jon Routledge but the midfielder could not keep his header down after making an intelligent run into the box.
The focus of play switched to the visiting goal as Gavin Gunning played an excellent one-two with Ross Forbes and crossed low towards John Sutton, whose outstretched foot could not make a scoring connection.
Set pieces by Tom Hateley caused Hamilton problems, a dangerous free-kick into the near post area diverted out by David Elebert before a corner kick was headed wide by Gunning.
Another sweeping free-kick, this time delivered by Forbes, was headed powerfully towards goal by Francis Jeffers but the striker was denied by Tomas Cerny's superb save.
Sutton scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot
Motherwell were given the chance to go in front when Sutton chased Lasley's cross into the box and was pulled back by Martin Canning, who was promptly booked.
Sutton coolly slotted home to Cerny's left as the keeper went dived to his right.
The home side were well in command and Jamie Murphy's stinging low drive was gathered at the second attempt by Cerny.
Cerny came to Accies' rescue again when Forbes's quickly taken free-kick swerved towards goal.
Having fallen out of the game in the first half, Accies carved out an excellent chance to level just after the interval as Routledge's cross was headed over by McAlister, who should have done better.
Substitute Ali Crawford's free-kick caused uncertainty in the Motherwell defence and Mark McLaughlin stuck out a boot but could not direct his shot on target.
Motherwell looked to make sure of the three points and Sutton teed up Murphy for a shot but the forward did not get enough purchase on the shot, allowing Cerny to gather.
Murphy was in the thick of it again moments later as he rose to meet Chris Humphrey's cross and head the ball wide.
Humphrey, who had earlier replaced Jeffers, was causing Hamilton problems with his pace and, after a lung-bursting run down the right, the winger cut into the box only to blaze his shot over.
As Hamilton pressed for a leveller they were leaving themselves exposed to counter-attacks and Sutton curled a shot over in a Motherwell breakaway attack.
But one goal proved to be enough for the Steelmen.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Sutton (pen) 36
14 Lasley yellow card
18 Forbes (Hammell 69)
24 Jeffers (Humphrey 69)
04 Canning yellow card
06 McLaughlin (McDonald 53)
03 Skelton yellow card
13 Carrington (Crawford 53)
18 Flavio Paixao yellow card (Hasselbaink 61)
Ref: AllanAtt: 4,407
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
92:13 The referee brings the game to a close.
89:32 Shot from just outside the box by John Sutton goes over the bar.
88:03 Unfair challenge on James Chambers by Stephen Craigan results in a free kick. Tomas Cerny restarts play with the free kick.
87:45 Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on James Chambers. Ali Crawford takes the free kick.
86:04 Effort from deep inside the area by Chris Humphrey misses to the left of the goal.
83:43 A cross is delivered by Chris Humphrey, Headed effort from inside the box by Jamie Murphy misses to the right of the target.
80:36 Shaun Hutchinson challenges Nigel Hasselbaink unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ali Crawford takes the free kick.
80:07 Unfair challenge on Shaun Hutchinson by Gavin Skelton results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.
80:07 Booking Booking for Gavin Skelton for unsporting behaviour.
79:18 Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Save by Tomas Cerny.
76:28 Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink on Stephen Craigan, free kick awarded. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.
Correction - 72:57 Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Ali Crawford results in a free kick. Gavin Gunning takes the free kick.
72:57 Ali Crawford challenges Jamie Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gavin Gunning restarts play with the free kick.
71:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stevie Hammell on Nigel Hasselbaink. The ball is delivered by Ali Crawford, James McAlister
produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
70:53 Chris Humphrey produces a cross, John Sutton takes a shot. Tomas Cerny makes a save.
70:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ali Crawford on John Sutton. Steve Jennings takes the free kick.
Correction - 68:09 Substitution Stevie Hammell on for Ross Forbes.
Correction - 68:09 Substitution Francis Jeffers leaves the field to be replaced by Chris Humphrey.
68:09 Substitution (Motherwell) makes a substitution, with Stevie Hammell coming on for Ross Forbes.
68:09 Substitution Chris Humphrey comes on in place of Francis Jeffers.
67:45 Effort by Nigel Hasselbaink from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
66:55 Unfair challenge on James McAlister by Gavin Gunning results in a free kick. Martin Canning restarts play with the free kick.
65:27 Francis Jeffers gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McAlister. Free kick taken by Martin Canning.
64:15 James McAlister concedes a free kick for a foul on Gavin Gunning. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Gavin Gunning
from left wing.
62:57 Gary McDonald fouled by Keith Lasley, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Tomas Cerny.
62:57 Booking Keith Lasley booked for unsporting behaviour.
62:04 Corner taken by Ali Crawford played to the near post, clearance made by Stephen Craigan.
60:47 Substitution Nigel Hasselbaink on for Flavio Paixao.
59:59 Flavio Paixao gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Francis Jeffers. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tom Hateley,
Martin Canning manages to make a clearance.
59:59 Booking The referee shows Flavio Paixao a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
58:31 Gavin Skelton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Ross
Forbes, James Chambers makes a clearance.
55:13 Foul by Shaun Hutchinson on Mickael Antoine-Curier, free kick awarded. David Elebert takes the direct free kick.
53:44 Gary McDonald fouled by Gavin Gunning, the ref awards a free kick. Ali Crawford restarts play with the free kick.
53:35 Jamie Murphy is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Tomas Cerny takes the free kick.
52:46 Substitution Mark McLaughlin goes off and Gary McDonald comes on.
52:46 Substitution Mark Carrington goes off and Ali Crawford comes on.
51:58 Flavio Paixao gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gavin Gunning. Tom Hateley crosses the ball from the free
kick right-footed from left wing.
50:02 Francis Jeffers is caught offside. Free kick taken by David Elebert.
46:29 Jonathon Routledge delivers the ball, Header from deep inside the penalty area by James McAlister goes harmlessly over the
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+0:42 The first half comes to an end.
43:33 Keith Lasley is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Tomas Cerny.
41:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Chambers on Francis Jeffers. Ross Forbes produces a strike on goal direct from the free
kick, save by Tomas Cerny.
40:03 Jamie Murphy decides to take the corner short.
39:26 The referee blows for offside. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.
38:54 Foul by Keith Lasley on James McAlister, free kick awarded. James Chambers crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance
made by Steve Jennings.
37:10 Jamie Murphy has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Save made by Tomas Cerny.
35:15 John Sutton fouled by Martin Canning, the ref awards a Penalty.
35:15 GOAL - John Sutton:Motherwell 1 - 0 Hamilton John Sutton scores a penalty. Motherwell 1-0 Hamilton.
34:21 Booking Martin Canning goes into the referee's book.
32:53 Jamie Murphy fouled by Jonathon Routledge, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tom Hateley
from left channel, save by Tomas Cerny.
29:23 Jamie Murphy takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
29:03 Francis Jeffers takes a shot. Save made by Tomas Cerny.
28:36 Foul by Martin Canning on John Sutton, free kick awarded. Jamie Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
26:23 Tom Hateley takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Header from close in by Gavin Gunning misses to the right of the
25:48 Flavio Paixao concedes a free kick for a foul on Gavin Gunning. Tom Hateley crosses the ball in from the free kick, Martin
Canning makes a clearance.
24:02 James McAlister gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Hateley. Shaun Hutchinson restarts play with the free
22:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tom Hateley on James McAlister. Tomas Cerny takes the free kick.
21:40 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
19:09 Tom Hateley takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by James Chambers.
17:55 The assistant referee flags for offside against Mickael Antoine-Curier. Stephen Craigan takes the free kick.
17:41 Francis Jeffers takes a shot. Tomas Cerny makes a save.
15:47 Flavio Paixao is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.
13:32 Foul by James Chambers on John Sutton, free kick awarded. Shot comes in from Tom Hateley from the free kick.
12:29 Gavin Skelton challenges Steve Jennings unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shaun Hutchinson takes the free kick.
9:55 Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Martin Canning results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Gavin Gunning.
9:10 James McAlister sends in a cross, Header from deep inside the area by Jonathon Routledge goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
7:56 Flavio Paixao takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.
3:47 Jamie Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on Mickael Antoine-Curier. Free kick taken by Martin Canning.
0:59 Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Flavio Paixao. Free kick taken by Jonathon Routledge.
0:00 The referee gets the game started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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