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Hartley wants to reward dedicated fans with derby victory

Motherwell skipper Peter Hartley is determined to reward fans for their support with another derby win.

The Well players and 295 travelling supporters celebrated their stoppage-time win against Ross County in Dingwall closely together in a display of the connection between the two groups.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s visit of Hamilton, Hartley said: “When there’s no transport and you have that many fans, when there’s no trains or buses on… the fans made their own way there on Boxing Day in a more than three-hour journey.

“We showed our appreciation to the support they gave us. It was like a 12th man, I could only hear our fans singing and I’m just happy they all went home happy and the journey was worth it.”

The former Hartlepool and Plymouth centre-back has experienced highs and lows in this Lanarkshire derby – scoring the winner in his first one and getting sent off after the final whistle in a New Year’s Day defeat after barging Dougie Imrie.

“I actually was surprised (at the ferocity of the rivalry),” he said. “I played in a lot of derbies but when I came up one of my first games was away to Hamilton, and I actually scored.

“But I wasn’t expecting as many Motherwell fans there and they definitely came out in their numbers. We sent them home happy that day and hopefully we can again this time.

“We have a team full of confidence. We have worked really hard to get to where we are now but we just have to take it a game at a time.

“We go into the Hamilton game winning five of the last six so hopefully we can finish 2019 with another win.”