A feisty Central Region Cup final between Hamilton Accies and North Motherwell Boys Club ended in a hard-fought 2-1 win for Motherwell in a heated clash that threatened to spill over in the second half.
It all looked rosy for Motherwell heading into the break after Hayden Cogan fired them into the lead. However, Kai Kirkpatrick notched a fantastic equaliser for Accies in the second half before being sent off for a late challenge with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Motherwell used the one-man advantage to terrific effect, and grabbed a winner through the tireless Dylan Davidson with just over 10 minutes remaining - sending the Motherwell fans into raptures.
Accies actually started the brighter side in the first 5-10 minutes. Kirkpatrick and Reece Reddiex were lively without really creating too much, and Hamilton had a positive vibe about them.
It was Motherwell who created the first opportunity though, as Lewis Falconer's cross into the box was flicked straight to Jake Inglis, who rifled over the bar with a snapshot.
There was an impressive display of passing football from either side in this one, bringing a fresh and very welcome style of football to the contest. Other than the odd loose ball, both sides were hanging onto the ball well when they had it, and it made for an intriguing contest.
Some lovely, passing play saw Rory Fitzpatrick lay off the powerful Lewis Blane. However, despite having a sight of goal for a second, his shot was quickly blocked.
Motherwell started to get used to the balls coming into Fitzpatrick and Reddiex, with Kieran McMahon and Sean Reid not giving Accies a moment on the ball in the final third after the 15 minute mark.
The game then broke into life. A clever run forward from Reddiex saw the ball break to Ross Ruckett. A terrific chance opened up for him, but he could only fire it over with a wasted effort.
Up the other end though and Motherwell stormed into a 25th-minute lead. Ross Brownlee controlled down the left and played a forward pass to Cogan. There didn't look to be too much on for Cogan, but he seamlessly drifted through several players before rifling an effort over Nicholas McNab and into the net.
Accies struggled for a meaningful response, but the opener didn't stop them playing their passing game. Kirkpatrick fired an effort straight at Stuart Robertson as they continued to move it with confidence.
However, the game was largely where Motherwell would've wanted it. They were in control of proceedings without being dominant. A terrific ball from Anton McQuade through to Davidson saw him fire an effort that had to be parried round.
Despite not creating too much before the break, Hamilton should've been level. Kirkpatrick sent a terrific cross into the area for Shea Lafferty who had peeled off his man. Lafferty, though, could only nod straight at Robertson, who reacted superbly to divert it away and keep Motherwell ahead heading into the break.