Veteran striker Kenny Miller grabbed a stunning hat-trick as basement club Dundee beat Hamilton 4-0 in their Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Dens Park.
The 38-year-old skipper struck in the 27th minute to give the home side the interval lead and then grabbed a brace in the second-half - one either side of Jesse Curran’s deflected strike - to give Jim McIntyre his first win as boss at the seventh attempt.
Dundee moved to within five points of the 10th-placed Lanarkshire outfit but with St Mirren drawing with Hibernian, McIntyre’s side remain one point behind the Saints at the bottom with a game in hand over both relegation rivals as they look forward to the visit of Rangers on Sunday with renewed enthusiasm.
It was the visitors who threatened first in the eighth minute when attacker James Keatings took a Scott Martin pass and drilled in a left-footed shot from 16 yards which Jack Hamilton smartly gathered.
Dundee’s play was rather stiff and laboured but in the 24th minute they provided some encouragement to their fans when playmaker Paul McGowan laid the ball back to Curran at the edge of the box with his drive speeding just past the post.
Three minutes later the Dens Park side were ahead.
After the Accies defence had failed to properly clear a Calvin Miller cross from the left, midfielder Glen Kamara twisted and turned inside the Hamilton box before slipping in Miller who clipped the ball high past keeper Jan Mucha from six yards.
As the home side took control, striker Miller fired high over the bar from 16 yards after taking a pass from McGowan, before Keatings drove wide from inside the box after a swift Hamilton counter.
However, six minutes after the break a comeback looked a forlorn prospect for Accies when Miller picked up a clearance from defender Delphin Tshiembe 25 yards from goal and curled the ball past the despairing Mucha.
Accies began to push forward but in the 68th minute they fell further behind when Curran’s strike from the edge of the box appeared to come off Ziggy Gordon and nestle behind Mucha.
Hamilton continued to throw bodies forward but were punished again by Miller in the 81st minute when he again beat Mucha with a shot from distance, before going off a few minutes later for Jean Mendy to a well-deserved standing ovation.
Dundee keeper Hamilton saved a late header from substitute Rakish Bingham, on earlier for Fredrik Brustad, to prevent even a consolation goal for the visitors.