Hamilton head coach Brian Rice hailed match-winner Hakeem Odoffin as they secured their first win of the Scottish Premiership campaign to move off the foot of the table.
Odoffin powered home a header from Reegan Mimnaugh’s corner with just four minutes remaining in the Lanarkshire derby against Motherwell to seal a 1-0 win.
The defender had passed up a great goalscoring opportunity just two minutes earlier when he missed from close range courtesy of another Mimnaugh corner.
But he made amends with his first goal for the club since joining from Livingston on the eve of the new season.
Hamilton had lost their opening three games in the league but they brought this run to an end with a crucial victory against their local rivals, which elevated them to ninth in the Premiership.
Rice said: “Just before the goal went in we had three or four dangerous crosses into the box and Hakeem missed one that was probably easier to score.
“But he deserved his goal. Since he came into the club he’s been immense for me. I brought him in as a right-back and moved him into centre-back and I’ve been absolutely delighted with him.
“He’s only 22 but he’s a leader in that young team. So him to get his first goal in a derby match, I’m sure he was delighted.
“I felt we started the game well but Motherwell grew into it and they were the better team in the first half.
“But I felt in the second half when we changed the shape and brought the young ones on, they got hold of the ball, got us up the pitch. They have energy and enthusiasm but they can also play.
“They had a big part to play in us winning today.
“We’re the smallest club in the league but the players have all got heart and will run through a brick wall for the club.”
Motherwell have yet to record a win in their opening five games of the new league campaign and manager Stephen Robinson was frustrated to lose out to a late winner.
But he admits his side are not posing enough of a threat in the final third and they did not match Hamilton’s desire to get a goal.
“It was frustrating the whole game,” Robinson said.
“We must have had 70 per cent possession – that’s Rangers and Celtic stuff – and I don’t know how many balls across the six-yard box.
“All the stats in the world don’t mean anything when you don’t get the result.
“The difference between the teams was the desire to go and score a goal.
“We didn’t show enough desire to finish the game off or defend in our own box.
“We can’t keep saying it’s bad luck, you make your own luck by being brave and we were not brave enough to finish the game off.”