Match ends, Hibernian 3, Hamilton Academical 1.
Florian Kamberi scored a hat-trick as Hibernian came from behind to beat 10-man Hamilton at Easter Road.
Home goalkeeper Ofir Marciano fumbled a routine cross to gift Marios Ogboe a ninth-minute opener.
Kamberi hit the woodwork soon after, then finished off a great passing sequence with a thunderous strike.
Dougie Imrie picked up a second booking before Kamberi nodded home his second and then slotted in a late third from a fantastic Paul Hanlon pass.
A fifth successive home win takes Hibs to within a point of third-placed Rangers and stretches their unbeaten run to eight games.
There was a sense of expectation inside the stadium with the hosts looking to make it five in a row at Easter Road for the first time in 17 years.
However, there was an early shock when Marciano, back from suspension, failed to hold to an Antonio Rojano delivery from wide on the right and Ogboe was on hand to tap in the simplest of goals.
Hibs, who had managed just one point from their two previous meetings with Accies this season, were immediately stung into action.
Kamberi smashed a Stevenson free kick off the base of the post and a Stevenson cross was awkwardly parried onto his own crossbar by keeper Gary Woods.
The equaliser came after a wonderful passage of play, with Dylan McGeouch at the heart of the action.
The midfielder played one-twos with both Scott Allan and Kamberi before the latter smashed a terrific drive low into the bottom corner of Woods' goal.
Hibs continued to push forward and a sliding Jamie McLaren was inches away from connecting with a fizzing Martin Boyle cross, while Hanlon went close with a header from a corner just before the interval.
The second half started with a MacLaren header finding its way into the arms of Woods, then Kamberi threatened with acrobatic overhead kicks from two successive corners.
Just after the hour, Hamilton lost Imrie to a second booking for a trip on Boyle. Soon after, the wilting visitors, who have now lost three games in six days, were behind.
Boyle floated in a cross from the right and Kamberi rose at the back post to guide in a smart header.
Kamberi, on loan from Grasshoppers in Switzerland, was a real thorn for Hamilton all night, his link up play with Boyle and MacLaren causing all sorts of problems.
And the striker grabbed his third goal with a shot that squeezed through the legs of Woods after running on to a sublime through ball from Hanlon.
A fourth looked likely when Boyle raced past the depleted Accies defence but the winger put too much on a straightforward delivery for Kamberi in front of goal.
Hibernian manager Neil Lennon: "He [Florian Kamberi] has been superb. His first goal was out of this world. Lovely interplay... His hold-up play, his physicality, his speed, work-rate - he's got all that and now he's adding goals. He can be proud of his contribution.
"Second half, I thought we were in total control. We started all right, then gift Hamilton a goal, then our response was tremendous - brilliant goal from Florian, then it got a bit scrappy, so we got them in at half time and rejigged a few things. In the end, we could have won by a few more. It's a big win, our momentum is good.
"It was important that we kept the pressure on the teams around us. The other thing is that it opens up a nine-point gap to Kilmarnock [in fifth place].
"Ross County [away on Saturday] is a huge game going into the split. It could put us in a really good position. They got a real shot in the arm with a fantastic result tonight. It's a must-win for us if we are to maintain our standards but County are fighting for their lives, as were Partick and Hamilton and we've negotiated those two very well."
Hamilton manager Martin Canning: "I'm disappointed with the result but I thought that the boys gave everything to get something from the game. At 1-1, until we got a man sent off, we were more than in it. The red card was unfortunate; Dougie [Imrie] has made two tackles in the game and both have been deemed to be yellow cards.
"I thought the second one was very soft. He goes off and, from there, they score within five minutes before we can make a change.
"From there it becomes difficult but the boys have run themselves into the ground. If we continue to perform like that, we'll pick up points."
- 3WhittakerBooked at 6minsSubstituted forBartleyat 78'minutes
- 10McGeouchSubstituted forSwansonat 86'minutes
- 19MaclarenSubstituted forShawat 83'minutes
- 10RedmondBooked at 31minsSubstituted forBinghamat 69'minutes
- 18MacKinnonBooked at 78mins
- 7ImrieBooked at 62mins
- 20RojanoBooked at 69minsSubstituted forCrawfordat 80'minutes
- 99OgboeSubstituted forMcMannat 64'minutes
- 15van der Weg
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hibernian 3, Hamilton Academical 1.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Xavier Tomas.
Attempt saved. Danny Swanson (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Foul by Oli Shaw (Hibernian).
Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Hibernian. Danny Swanson replaces Dylan McGeouch.
Goal! Hibernian 3, Hamilton Academical 1. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paul Hanlon.
Substitution, Hibernian. Oli Shaw replaces Jamie Maclaren.
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ali Crawford replaces Antonio Rojano.
Substitution, Hibernian. Marvin Bartley replaces Steven Whittaker.
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Scott Allan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).
Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).
Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).
Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Antonio Rojano (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.