Derek Adams was angered by Ross County's performance
The former Stark's Park manager, now at Hearts, certainly appears to have left his successor, Grant Murray, with a sound legacy.
The Kirkcaldy club heavily punished an out-of-sorts Ross County last night with the impressively imposing Brian Graham grabbing a fine double in a surprising rout.
County's Derek Adams had hinted he would shuffle his team, but caught everyone by surprise with the scale of the changes. There were nine in all, with only defenders Scott Boyd and Marc Fitzpatrick surviving from Saturday's victory at Dundee. It was a move that was to back-fire for County, with few staking a claim for selection against Kilmarnock this weekend.
Indeed, Adams expressed his dismay that the team he had picked had been unable to see his side through. "I'm disappointed for the players, actually, that they didn't perform well enough to take the tie forward, said I made nine changes and the players who came in didn't perform well enough.
"I'm afraid they fell by the way-side tonight. They have missed a huge opportunity to impress and they slide further down the pecking order. The players who have had the jersey on a Saturday are there for this Saturday. I'll make nine changes."
The breakthrough came for Raith after 25 minutes, with Graham's craft carving the opening. His clever pass, unpicked the home defence and, from Allan Walker's touch, Spence thumped in.
Towards half-time, it was the Kirkcaldy men pressing County back – and they deserved a second goal after 40 minutes. Walker's corner swung in fiercely from the left and Graham used his 6ft 2in frame to glance a near-post header past Brown.
Raith looked in the mood to put the game beyond County as early as the first minute of the second half. Pat Clarke squared to Walker 15 yards out but he Brown clutched his shot with ease. But County really were in deep water after 51 minutes. Walker fizzed in a free-kick from the right and Raith defender Dougie Hill outleapt everyone to smack home a close-range header.
Raith only grew stronger. Just before the hour another fierce free-kick from Clarke was only just fisted over by Brown. But the fourth goal arrived after 63 minutes to kill of any hope of a home recovery. Walker's drive from the right side of the box was blocked but spun kindly to Graham, who swivelled and struck low past Brown.
With seven minutes left, County snatched a barely merited consolation as Martin Scott's back-heel allowed Russell Duncan to prod in.
Murray, the Raith manager, admitted he was as surprised as anyone by the margin. "When I saw the draw, I knew right away it could be a difficult night. But as I said to the players, it's a cup tie."
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