Livingston boss Gary Holt asked for a more ruthless streak from his team after they slipped to a second-successive defeat for the first time this season.
The 1-0 loss at Hamilton – through Mason Bloomfield’s 86th-minute goal – moves Holt’s side out of the top six for the first time since August.
Livi are still a whopping 15 points clear of bottom-placed Dundee, but the manager wants more.
“We’ve got to be men and grow up. We’ve got to learn the level that we’re at and we’ve got to be braver. We did play well on Saturday. We created a number of chances and hit the bar at the end.
“We got the old sucker punch which is a kick in the teeth but you’ve just got to take it on the chin sometimes. It’s all about bouncing back now and being brave and going again.”
Hamilton manager Martin Canning paid tribute to his players as they coped without their two most experienced men. Accies were missing more than 400 appearances in the shape of the suspended duo Dougie Imrie and Darian MacKinnon but still battled hard to win, ending a run of six games without victory.
“Darian and Dougie have been here so long and they optimise the way we go about our business,” Canning said.
“To be missing those two and still have enough in the tank to go and beat a difficult team is great for us.
“It was a game that would have suited Darian and Dougie too with the number of tackles. Tom Taiwo hasn’t trained in about a month and he put himself forward to go and play for us and he did great as well.
“It’s great to have a team of players who are desperate to get on the pitch and give you everything they’ve got.”
Mickel Miller had just been dismissed for two bookable offences prior to the winning goal – the third dismissal for Hamilton in as many games while MacKinnon was also cited retrospectively for a heavy challenge on Kilmarnock’s Alan Power in the 1-1 draw last weekend.