Livi picked up their first away win since August as they came out on top in a six-goal thriller against Hamilton at the Foys Stadium to move eight points clear in the top six of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Lions fell behind to Shaun Want’s opener but quickly levelled through Craig Sibbald and took a lead into the interval thanks to Aaron Taylor-Sinclair’s first goal for the club. Sam Woods brought Accies level after the break before Stevie Lawless’ penalty and Scott Pittman’s second in as many games sealed the points for Gary Holt’s men.
There were three changes to the Livi line-up from the win over St Johnstone three days earlier as Taylor-Sinclair, Sibbald and Aymen Souda came in for Steve Lawson, Keaghan Jacobs and Scott Robinson. With Ryan Schofield still injured, there was also a place among the substitutes for Gary Maley.
Livi started well without really testing the home defence and instead found themselves a goal down on 14 minutes when Marius Ogkmpoe was released down the left and his low cut back found Want unmarked to slot home from inside the penalty area. The Lions had the perfect response to falling behind, though, and were level barely 60 seconds later when Ciaron Brown’s long throw was headed clear only as far as Sibbald who fired a superb half-volley into the bottom corner.
Livi quickly took control and almost took the lead on 19 minutes when Marvin Bartley won a corner and Souda’s delivery dropped only just the wrong side of the crossbar. Souda went close again five minutes when Jack McMillan laid the ball into his path and he curled in an effort that was well pushed away by Owain Fon Williams.
The Lions’ pressure finally tolled on 32 minutes as they took lead when, after collecting a cross from Souda that found no takers in the box, McMillan curled in a terrific cross that took Fon Williams completely out of the equation and left Taylor-Sinclair with an unguarded net to crash his header into from close range.
Livi had been on top for much of the half but almost found themselves pegged back on the stroke of half-time when Will Collar found himself clean through but Robby McCrorie parried away his fierce effort as the Lions went in at the break in front.
Half-time: Hamilton Academical 1-2 Livingston
Accies started the second half brightly and, after Blair Alston replaced Lewis Smith on 56 minutes, they found themselves back on level terms two minutes later when McCrorie fumbled Markus Fjortoft’s header and Woods was on hand to nod the loose ball home from a few yards out.
Given the Lions’ struggles on the road throughout the season, it would have been easy for their heads to drop after the loss of the equaliser but, instead, they showed their resilience and were soon back on the front foot. They were handed a perfect chance to restore their lead on the hour mark when Fjortoft met a corner with an outstretched hand and ref Bobby Madden pointed to the spot. Lawless stepped up and, although Fon Williams got a hand to it, his penalty found the net to make it 3-2.
Livi continued to press forward and extended their lead on 65 minutes when Dykes did well to gather possession on the left and reach the byline before cutting the ball back for Pittman to steer the ball into the far corner of the net with the outside of his right foot for his second goal in as many games after five months without one. Scott Robinson replaced Souda for the Lions four minutes later, Souda picking up a yellow card for his reaction as he made his way straight down the tunnel.
Fjortoft picked up a yellow card for the home side on 77 minutes after hauling down Dykes on halfway before Livi’s second change saw Robbie Crawford come on for Lawless four minutes later. Keaghan Jacobs then replaced Dykes two minutes from time as the Lions comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to make it four straight wins in all competitions.
Full-time: Hamilton Academical 2-4 Livingston
Hamilton: Williams, Woods, Fjortoft, Want, McMann, Martin, Gogic, Collar (Dales 77), Smith (Alston 57), Miller, Ogboe (Winter 67)
Subs not used: Southwood, Hunt, Davies, Mimnaugh
Goals: Want (13), Woods (57)
Livingston: McCrorie, McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Brown, Guthrie, Bartley, Sibbald, Pittman, Souda (Robinson 70), Lawless (Crawford 82), Dykes (Jacobs 90)
Subs not used: Maley, Lithgow, Erskine, Lamie
Goals: Sibbald (15), Taylor-Sinclair (32), Lawless (62 pen), Pittman (65)
Referee: Bobby Madden
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Photo Gallery: Rae Irvine