Bruce Anderson scored his first goal for Hamilton to set Brian Rice’s men on their way to a 4-1 victory over 10-man Motherwell at Fir Park.
The recent loan signing from Aberdeen netted before Stephen O’Donnell’s 18th-minute red card, which led to Ross Callachan bagging his eighth goal of the season with a penalty.
Marios Ogkmpoe had the visitors three up inside 31 minutes and substitute David Moyo made it four before Mark O’Hara scored a consolation from the spot with Motherwell’s only shot on target of the afternoon.
It was a third Lanarkshire derby win of the season for Accies, who have not lost in the last five meetings between the teams.
The three points were enough to lift Rice’s men off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, ahead of Ross County on goal difference, and cut the gap to their local rivals to five points.
It was the first major setback for new Fir Park boss Graham Alexander, who took charge days after Motherwell lost 3-0 at Hamilton last month.
Accies started on the front foot and took the lead inside seven minutes after a well-worked move following a throw-in on the left flank.
Callachan turned after receiving a pass from Hakeem Odoffin and got to the byline before cutting back for Anderson, who had time to take a touch before stabbing home from eight yards.
Accies twice came close as Motherwell were temporarily down to 10 men as Barry Maguire received treatment. Anderson had a shot deflected wide from 18 yards and Ogkmpoe headed over.
With Motherwell briefly back at a full complement of players, Tony Watt missed a good opportunity to level when he sent a free header over following a corner.
The hosts’ hopes soon plummeted as O’Donnell pulled back Callachan on the six-yard box as the midfielder tried to reach Anderson’s flick-on. David Munro showed the red card and Callachan twice converted from 12 yards either side of the referee ordering a re-take.
The third came after Anderson collected a loose ball and sent his strike partner in behind. Ogkmpoe held off a defender and drove the ball past Liam Kelly.
Anderson and Jamie Hamilton came close following balls into the box and Alexander’s frustration was evident when he received a yellow card for complaining about a throw-in award.
The Motherwell boss initially kept three forwards on after the red card and waited until the 38th minute before making a tactical switch.
Tyler Magloire replaced striker Christopher Long and formed a back three in a bid to let Jake Carroll and Mark O’Hara push forward as wing-backs.
Accies were forced into a switch just before half-time when Charlie Trafford went off with a muscle injury. Scott Martin came on.
After an uneventful start to the second half, another substitute made his mark in the 64th minute as Moyo produced a classy finish inside two minutes of coming on.
Scott McMann collected a poor clearance from Magloire and got outside the defender before delivering a cross which Moyo steered into the far corner.
Accies were threatening to set a new derby record at this stage – they beat Well 5-0 at home and 4-0 at Fir Park six seasons ago.
But O’Hara netted four minutes later after Brian Easton had brought Devante Cole down just inside the box.
Alexander handed a debut to 17-year-old defender Max Johnston, son of former Scotland winger and current Queen of the South manager Allan Johnston, and Motherwell avoided further embarrassment.
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