THE rain may have fallen in biblical proportions for most of the afternoon, but it took until the death for Derek Adams' mood to dampen.
The Ross County manager was left cursing more than his luck as his side saw a two-goal advantage washed away in Ayrshire.
In a truly extraordinary second half, the visitors appeared to have ridden an early storm during which Kris Boyd halved their lead.
They looked to be home and dry in injury time when substitute Melvin De Leeuw broke clear down the left flank and into the box, only for his cutback to Alex Cooper to stick in a puddle as his team-mate went sliding past into the empty net. Sixty seconds later, Kilmarnock's comeback was complete when Boyd fired in the equaliser.
The goal prompted manager Allan Johnston to leap from his dugout in celebration and join his players on the park. It was an unrestrained display of emotion that seemed to trouble Adams at the time, but he was more measured in his assessment of that incident afterwards, concentrating his anger on Kilmarnock's goals, neither of which he believed should have stood.
Adams, who also took exception to Filip Kiss's 76th-minute dismissal for a second bookable offence, said: "You could see Allan Johnston's delight. He ran halfway past my dugout and jumped up and down. It's testimony to us at how delighted Allan is to get a point against Ross County."
He added: "The first goal was a handball by Kris Boyd. The second was two hands in the back of the defender. So both were fouls and that's how Kilmarnock got their goals today. We were far the better team, it's a travesty for football."
Adams' mood post-match was a far cry from the sense of contentment he enjoyed at the break. And while many of his counterparts across the land would have been up late on Friday night thrashing out deals before the transfer window closed, he would have been sound asleep, his seven signings completed with time to spare. There may be more unrecognisable faces at Dingwall than in the Celebrity Big Brother house, but it was two of Adams' January recruits - Yoann Arquin and Yann Songo'o - who had County two goals to the good at half-time yesterday, with a third, Kiss, providing an assist on the opener.
Their half-time advantage was conjured up during a frantic 15-minute spell as Kilmarnock lost their way and County found their feet on a sodden surface.
For the first goal, Kiss filtered out wide on the right with the ball, opening up a space between Jeroen Tesselaar and Manuel Pascali in the Kilmarnock defence. Arquin floated into the gap to receive the neat through ball and sent it skidding into the bottom left corner of the net.
Five minutes later it was two. Graham Carey's awkward shot from the edge of the area bounced on the damp turf before springing over the Kilmarnock defence to the unmarked Songo'o, whose slight touch was enough to outfox Craig Samson as the ball thudded in off the post.
"The first half was 2-0 going on five," said Adams, having seen his side pass up a flurry of chances before they found the net.
Little did the County manager know what was to follow. With the downpour becoming heavier, the pitch began to cut up and the visitors were cut open within two minutes of the restart. A deep corner fell to Boyd, with play stopping as the ball appeared to strike his arm. However, there was no whistle and the former Rangers front man rifled his shot into the net.
Returning hero Alexei Eremenko was thrown on as Kilmarnock sensed an opportunity to pounce.
After Kiss collected a second yellow card, the hosts piled forward with Rory McKenzie hitting the post and Boyd fluffing two volleys. The latter was not to be denied, though, as deep into injury time he leapt high above Brian McLean to head the ball down into the net.
"Overall it was a great point for us, especially from being 2-0 down," Johnson said. "I'm absolutely delighted. It was two great finishes."