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Rice hails Ogkmpoe and his ‘best mate’ hard work

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice was delighted to see comeback striker Marios Ogkmpoe net what could be a crucial equaliser against Motherwell.

The striker came off the bench to net an 84th-minute equaliser and earn Accies a 1-1 draw against their Lanarkshire rivals, leaving them two points above the relegation play-off place.

Ogkmpoe was making his second appearance since suffering a knee injury against the same opponents in May last year and Rice felt hard work had paid off for the hitman.

“I’m absolutely delighted for the big guy,” Rice said. “I didn’t know him when I came in but he’s a fantastic boy.

“He’s a young lad and I found him a wee bit slack when I came in but I had a good chat with him most days and I told him his best mate is hard work. Every time I see him in the morning I say: ‘Who’s your best mate?’ And he says ‘Hard work, gaffer’.

“He’s got something, he has power and pace and he has scored a goal. I am absolutely delighted for the big boy because he has had a bad injury.”

Ogkmpoe accepted a gift from Liam Grimshaw, who lost possession deep inside his own half. Accies were much improved after the interval, after Motherwell initially took complete command after David Turnbull netted from close range on the half-hour mark.

Rice said: “We started really well then Motherwell scored, a really slack goal from our point of view. Motherwell took great confidence from that and it seemed to drain our confidence and we got a bit deep.

“I was praying for half-time so I could regroup. I changed the formation and second half I couldn’t have asked for any more.

“The boys were terrific, they were on the front foot, first balls, second balls, putting crosses in the box, putting them under pressure and I think we deservedly got the equaliser.”

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson was not too hard on Grimshaw, who set up Turnbull’s goal.

“We’re disappointed to come away with (only) a point after we dominated the first half and played some brilliant football,” he said.

“We had chances to finish them off and didn’t take them and when that happens, you give people a lifeline, albeit they scored from an individual error.

“Grimmy made a mistake but listen, he’s been fantastic for me all season. I thought the second half was dead and the heat might have played a part in that.

“The quality wasn’t great at times on that surface but you know when you’re playing on it that you don’t take chances with 50-50 decisions and the mistake was just one of those things.”