Marios Ogkmpoe netted a late equaliser on his first Hamilton appearance for almost 12 months as Motherwell threw away two Lanarkshire derby points.
The striker came off the bench to make his comeback from a serious knee injury suffered against Motherwell last season and earned a 1-1 draw with an 84th-minute effort.
The goal was a gift from visiting right-back Liam Grimshaw as Ogkmpoe accepted a stray pass on the edge of the Motherwell box before rounding Mark Gillespie and slotting home.
The visitors had looked to be comfortably seeing out the win following David Turnbull’s 10th first-team goal of the season on the half-hour mark, but they ended up repelling some late pressure as Accies hunted an unlikely win.
The draw left Hamilton two points above the play-off spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership but now eight points above bottom side Dundee.
Hamilton brought Dougie Imrie back into the team while Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson dropped Jake Hastie to the bench after admitting the Rangers target was highly unlikely to sign a new contract. Elliott Frear and James Scott came in for the visitors.
Scott was first to threaten as he got away from Ziggy Gordon before getting a powerful shot on target but too close to Accies goalkeeper Gary Woods, who pushed the strike away.
David McMillan got three strikes on target for the hosts but none troubled Gillespie and Motherwell came close again when Tom Aldred, who netted twice on Motherwell’s previous visit, crashed a header off the bar from Turnbull’s corner.
Turnbull soon netted on the half-hour mark as he drifted behind Aaron McGowan into the six-yard box to cushion a volley home from Grimshaw’s inswinging cross.
Motherwell stroked the ball around for the remainder of the half with Accies strangely passive given their predicament.
The hosts stepped up a gear after the interval and McGowan was twice off target from 18 yards before they brought on two new strikers in the 57th minute. On came George Oakley and Ogkmpoe.
Ogkmpoe was off target from a free header though and Accies became increasingly desperate with Darian MacKinnon and McGowan arguably fortunate to escape with yellow cards for wild challenges. The former was taken off not long after squaring up to Alex Gorrin.
Motherwell appeared to be strolling to victory but Grimshaw’s loose pass handed Accies a lifeline which Ogkmpoe accepted, and Tony Andreu came close as Hamilton pushed forward late on.
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