Managerless Ross County were easily brushed aside 4-0 by a confident Hamilton Accies side at New Douglas Park, with all three goals coming in the second-half.
Following the departure of Derek Adams earlier in the week, the Staggies went down to goals from Martin Canning, a double from the spot by Mickael Antoine-Curier, and Jason Scotland’s late finish.
A miserable day was compounded by the sending off of defender Uros Celcer, with County missing a penalty of their own through Richard Brittain.
It will be hoped that rumours of Patrick Kluivert’s application for the vacant post in Dingwall could mean a new boss is appointed in the near future.
Ross County interim manager Steven Ferguson made three changes from the side that defeated Stranraer in the League Cup in midweek. Liam Boyce and Ben Frempah started for the first time, while Rocco Quinn was also drafted in, with Jake Jervis, Jim Fenlon and Graham Carey making way. Hamilton also rang the changes, with manager Alex Neil making five alterations from the team that beat Alloa Athletic 4-1 on Tuesday.
Accies began by far the brighter of the two sides, with Jordi Balk forced to make a last-ditch challenge to deny Darian MacKinnon in the opening minute. At the other end County’s sole attempt at goal in the first half came when Melvin de Leeuw shot straight into the arms of former Staggies goalkeeper Michael McGovern.
Accies began to dictate the attacking tempo, and Ziggy Gordon shot narrowly wide, before former Caley Thistle attacker Dougie Imrie forced Staggies keeper Mark Brown into an excellent close-range save soon afterwards.
County were dealt a let-off midway through the first-half when Danny Redmond was was put clean through by MacKinnon, however he made a fresh air swipe with the ball with just Brown to beat.
Brown stood his ground to hold a shot by MacKinnon from the edge of the box in the final shooting action of the first-half, however the former Caley Thistle and Celtic stopper was powerless to prevent the hosts taking a deserved lead just two minutes after the interval. Redmond angled a corner to the near post, with the ball bundled over the line by captain Martin Canning.
The hosts were awarded a penalty on 55 minutes when Rocco Quinn tripped Tony Andreu inside the box, with Mickael Antoine-Curier making no mistake in sending Brown the wrong way with a cool low finish.
County’s day went from bad to worse seven minutes later when Uros Celcer impeded the progress of Dougie Imrie who was clean through and ready to shoot. Referee Willie Collum had no hesitation in showing the Slovenian his marching orders, with Antoine-Curier duly punishing the Staggies again from 12 yards despite Brown this time diving correctly.
County were handed a great opportunity to pull one back when they were awarded a penalty of their own on 67 minutes, after Ziggy Gordon’s foul on Liam Boyce. However, McGovern dived low to his right to beat away Richard Brittain’s effort, with the Accies defence clearing.
Late attempts by Andreu and Louis Longridge threatened to pile further misery on County, however substitute Jason Scotland added a fourth in injury time after the Staggies defence failed to clear their lines.