Hamilton manager Martin Canning will aim to coax more “magic” out of Steven Boyd after his double substitution reaped instant rewards against Motherwell.
Boyd, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Livingston, struck a sensational volley into the top corner with his first touch to earn Accies a 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Fir Park.
The 21-year-old’s strike came on the rebound after fellow sub Ross Cunningham saw a free-kick bounce back off the wall.
The pair had been brought on seconds after Peter Hartley tripped Mickel Miller on the edge of the box and the 67th-minute switch proved inspirational as they immediately had more shots on goal than their team-mates put together.
“It’s nice when your substitutions work,” Canning said. “Ross Cunningham is fantastic with free-kicks so we sent him on to see if he could produce a bit of magic.
“It would probably have been better for him if it had been six or seven yards further back, but Steven Boyd ended up producing the magic and what a hit – it was a goal worthy of winning any game.
“It was a fantastic strike, but he has so much magic in him – it’s just a question of getting it out. He beats himself up too much at times, but I told the pair of them just to go on and enjoy themselves because it wasn’t as if we’d been setting the world alight beforehand.
“There was no pressure on them because we’d been doing nothing until they went on. We could have won by more because Ross missed a couple of chances and he was quite upset at the end, but he’s now at the forefront of my mind when it comes to changing things from the bench.”
Cunningham missed two glorious chances, but Motherwell could not capitalise after a frustrating 90 minutes when Curtis Main in particular had an off day in front of goal.
Manager Stephen Robinson was left to rue a failure to make the most of their pressure.
Robinson said: “Let’s be honest, will the boy ever hit a goal like that again in his life? I doubt it very much or he wouldn’t be playing here, he’d be playing for Barcelona.
“So you have got to give credit, it was an incredible goal. But we can only look at ourselves. We had lots of positives, we looked solid, but we didn’t create enough. Our decision-making in the final third wasn’t good enough.”
Robinson added: “We virtually dominated the whole game, it was a stupid free-kick to give away and then we were chasing the game
“But it’s difficult to be too harsh on the players because they gave me everything and ran their socks off.”
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