A double from Christopher Purdie proved to be the difference as Hamilton Accies defeated Cumbernauld Colts in a fiery league meeting at the Ravenscraig.
Cumbernauld kicked off the match and took the first opportunity to try and test the opposition goalkeeper but the strike from Peter Gribbin went wide of the keeper's right post.
There was more to see in terms of a physical contest between the two teams than concrete chances on goal as the early stages of the match unfolded. Possession was evenly shared between both sides and any shots on goal were doing little to test either goalkeeper.
Hamilton were finding more success when they worked the ball from the back, keeping it on the deck rather than playing the long ball. The home side were growing in possession in the final third but each cross into the box was overcooked and missing Stuart McIntyre in the centre of the box.
Cumbernauld made an early substitution on the 16th minute bringing on Andrew Smart for Kieran O'Neill.
Accies had an opportunity when Robert Griffiths burst up the pitch and evaded a slide tackle from the Cumbernauld defender before latching the ball onto Gribbin who was central outside the box. Gribbin had time to tee himself up but his shot missed the target.
The gritty nature of the match began to take its toll when Connor Smith went off injured for Hamilton however he recovered and came back on three minutes later.
Despite being momentarily down to ten men, Accies had an opportunity to take the lead when Purdie won the ball on the edge of the D and curled in a strike that rattled off the topside of the bar and went out of play.
Cumbernauld had a look in when they played a short free kick into the path of Mikey Downs who beat his man and cut inside to strike the ball wide of the keepers right post.
McIntyre got on the end of a cross from Robert Griffiths on the half hour mark but the effort looped over the bar as Ben Punter remained largely untested in the Cumbernauld goal.
With a third of the game gone it was proving to be a tough physical contest with individual battles taking place all over the pitch. Both teams were holding their own even though there was a lack of end product on show at this stage.
Kieran O'Neill had to replace Liam O'Connor for Cumbernauld who picked up a knock. Tensions were rising in the match and the referee had his work cut out diffusing a few potentially hostile situations.
Accies finally found some joy from the right wing on the 38th minute as Lewis Mooney whipped in a perfect cross to the head of McIntyre who glanced the ball over the helpless Punter in goal. The ball nestled into the top left corner as Hamilton took the lead.
Colts would have their chance to reply and they were awarded a penalty just before half time after the Cumbernauld striker was brought down in the area. Downs stepped up to slot the ball home from 12 yards out and bring the game back to a level pegging going into the second period.