Despite slow and unimpressive start of the season, Hakeem Odoffin had every cause to smile after he handed the club the much awaited first season victory on Saturday.
Odoffin powered home a header from Reegan Mimnaugh’s corner with just four minutes remaining in the Lanarkshire derby against Motherwell to seal a 1-0 win.
Hamilton have lost their opening three games in the league but the scrappy win over local rivals managed to push them off the foot of the table to the ninth position.
An elated Hamilton coach Brian Rice was full of praise for Nigerian born defender even as he noted that missed opportunities should have given his side a harvest of goals.
Rice said: “Just before the goal went in we had three or four dangerous crosses into the box and Hakeem missed one that was probably easier to score.
“But he deserved his goal. Since he came into the club he’s been immense for me. I brought him in as a right-back and moved him into centre-back and I’ve been absolutely delighted with him.
“He’s only 22 but he’s a leader in that young team and getting his first goal in a derby match, is sure to be a boost”
Motherwell on their part are yet to record a win in their opening five games of the new league campaign and manager Stephen Robinson was frustrated to lose out to a late winner.
Robinson took a swipe on his team insisting that it is time to stop blaming loses on bad luck but double effort in search of better results.
“All the stats in the world don’t mean anything when you don’t get the result.
“The difference between the teams was the desire to go and score a goal.
“We didn’t show enough desire to finish the game off or defend in our own box.
“We can’t keep saying its bad luck, you make your own luck by being brave and we were not brave enough to finish the game off.”
Hamilton and Odoffin’s readiness to extend the victory song will be put to the test when they host table toppers Rangers next Saturday.
Since crashing out of the now won and lost Europa league, Rangers have enjoyed impressive victories in the league with three wins and a draw.