Livingston launched their survival bid with a first away win of the campaign, doing so in emphatic fashion as ten-man Raith toiled at chilly Stark’s Park.
The match had dramatic start as Rovers found themselves a goal and a man down within two minutes. Mark Burchill darted into the penalty box where he collided with Ross Perry.
To the shock of home fans, referee Crawford Allan pointed to the spot and brandished a red card. Jordan White completed the punishment by netting from the spot-kick.
Rovers were outraged again when Christian Nade, clean through, appeared to be upended by Declan Gallagher. Had the foul been awarded, a red card would surely have followed, but the referee waved play on and added to the sense of injustice by booking Nade for his protests.
Raith’s problems intensified on 23 minutes when Livingston doubled their lead, Burchill finding space to nod Callum Fordyce’s cross firmly behind goalkeeper David McGurn.
It got worse when Gary Glen completed a slick three-man move before Grant Anderson threw Raith a lifeline on the stroke of half-time. Anderson might have reduced the deficit further on the restart but fired over.
Livingston goalkeeper Darren Jamieson then juggled a Barrie McKay corner as Raith rallied, but Danny Mullen almost put the issue beyond doubt with a fierce shot which McGurn saved brilliantly. Mullen, though, was not to be denied, heading the fourth before Michael McKenna completed the rout.
Livingston manager John McGlynn was delighted with the win, and said: “Today was our first match since the points deduction and a day to make a statement. It’s great to get the win as it’s been a wee while coming and we’re delighted.
“We have 22 games to finish eighth and that is our aim. We’ve had a lot of bad luck, but we maybe got a bit of luck today. Playing with ten men for 90 minutes is a long time.”