HAMILTON did enough to see off visitors Livingston 2-0 thanks to Jason Scotland’s first-half goal and substitute Mickael Antoine-Curier’s clincher two minutes into injury time.
The win ensures that Championship leaders Dundee go into today’s match, away to Cowdenbeath, with the New Douglas Park side just one point behind them.
Alex Neil’s side were straight into attack and Darren Jamieson had to use his legs to block an effort from Tony Andreu after a clever pass from Grant Gillespie had caught the Lions defence cold in the opening 30 seconds.
Livingston’s only chance in an opening half where the ball was being launched from end to end, came halfway through when a long punt from Callum Fordyce released Keaghan Jacobs in behind the home defence. Jacobs darted forward towards Kevin Cuthbert’s goal however he sent his shot tamely past the post.
The visitors were to regret that miss on 28 minutes when Hamilton took the lead after a Louis Longridge corner had been cleared out to Darian MacKinnon 25 yards from goal. The midfielder thumped the loose ball goalwards where a couple of deflections unsettled Jamieson and he could only punch it into the path of Scotland who took a touch before netting from eight yards.
Hamilton threatened again after the break with a low Scotland drive that Jamieson held at the second attempt.
Just after the hour mark Jacobs had a snap shot for the visitors that Cuthbert pushed past for a corner and then a header from Craig Sives was only inches wide from a Jacobs free-kick.
Hamilton came within inches of sealing their win with 15 minutes left when a quickly taken Ali Crawford free-kick was deftly flicked into the path of Andreu on the right-hand side of the area. He sent a shot across the face of the goal only for it to come bouncing back to him from the base of the far post before being cleared for a corner.
Crawford struck the same post with a low drive two minutes from time before Curier finally sealed the win.
A long clearance from Stephen Hendrie sent the striker into a chase with Sives and he held the defender off before slipping the ball past Jamieson, with the goalscorer then booked for removing his shirt in celebration.
Hamilton: Cuthbert, Gordon, Canning, Gillespie, Keatings (Curier 74), Crawford, Longridge (Hendrie 57), MacKinnon, Andreu (Routledge 77), Tena, Scotland. Subs not used: Currie, Devlin, Docherty, Ryan.
Livingston: Jamieson, Mampuya (McNulty 46), Talbot, Fordyce, Scott (Habai 63), Jacobs, Keaghan Jacobs (Denholm 80), O’Brien, Sives, Kyle Jacobs, Mevlja, Mullen. Subs not used: Walker, Wilkie, Praprotnik, Rutherford.