IF the three points garnered by Hamilton in Saturday’s deserved Lanarkshire derby win over Motherwell ultimately aid their survival in the Premiership, then there won’t be many Accies supporters who will care how they were gained.

And scorer of the second goal on the day, the impressive David Templeton, was beaming after the match as you might expect. But it is a wonder that the gifted attacker is managing to shine in matches such as this one, which in a swirling downpour on a sodden surface saw players hoofing the ball forward at every opportunity. You could say the former Hearts and Rangers winger was something of a diamond in the mud, if indeed there had been any mud at the Superseal.

“It was not a nice game to play in,” said Templeton. “I like to get on the ball and make things happen, but it was not a day for that. I just had to graft as well, and it was not often that something happened. I can’t imagine it was nice to watch.

“I get frustrated at games like this. The manager always says not to, but it is hard. I like to try and get on the ball and sometimes drop too deep to get it. He tells me to be patient when I’m not getting too many touches.

“That is what you have to keep thinking about, that you will get that one chance that will come to you and when it does you have to be sharp to take it and if you’re too busy thinking about the balls you didn’t get you might be off your game. Stay focused and when it comes you take it.”

And that he did. Hamilton handled the whole occasion far better than their oddly lacklustre rivals, and while it may not have been easy on the eye, the Accies supporters lapped up a first win in five over their opponents on their home patch.

Templeton’s quality, and Motherwell’s slackness, ultimately made the difference. It was his corner early on that caused chaos in the Motherwell box, and with defenders slashing at thin air, striker Marios Ogkmpoe showed a cool head to backheel the ball high into the net.

In the second half, Chris Cadden exhibited the hesitation that had gripped the Motherwell players as he blew a golden opportunity on the break, before Carl McHugh and Gael Bigirimana got in a fankle to present the ball to the last man they would have wanted to. Templeton duly drove at goal, held off McHugh’s frantic attempts at recovery, and slotted the ball low into Trevor Carson’s net.

Even with fully 25 minutes still to play, the fact that Gary Woods had barely dirtied his gloves in the Hamilton goal suggested the game was up, and so it proved.

“We knew if we got the three points it would put us closer to Motherwell with two games in hand and that was our aim today, so we could look forwards rather than back,” Templeton said.

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson had spent the latter part of last week talking up the chances of some of his players for inclusion in Alex McLeish’s first Scotland squad that will be announced today, but come Saturday evening, he was questioning whether some of them deserved their place in the Fir Park ranks.

One of those who he tipped as having an outside chance was Richard Tait, but as he trudged into the room to digest what had just happened to his side, thoughts of a maiden international call-up were far from his mind.

“It was a bad result for us, and a very bad performance really,” Tait said.

“We’ve got to look at ourselves when we get home, come in on Monday and crack on again.

“We were second to the second balls, didn’t put enough crosses into the box, and never really looked like scoring. When you then make it easier than it should be for them to score, it’s always going to be difficult.

“We haven’t been like that, it was a very bad day at the office.”