Danny Bloomfield bagged six goals as City began their defence of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup with a 12-0 mauling of Kershaw Premier League Waterbeach.
As expected Gary Roberts fielded a near full strength side with Craig Pope and James Quilter returning from suspension. Stuart Niven was handed a first start of the season as was debutant Academy striker Michael Gash.
The visitors made a bright start and held their own in the early exchanges, however, once City opened the scoring on nine minutes it was always going to be an uphill struggle. A neat passing move down the right hand side saw Jamie Godbold feed the ball inside to skipper for the night Rob Miller whose low shot from the edge of the box beat the dive of Simon Hall finding the far corner of the net.
Lewis Baillie lets fly at goal
With Citys slick passing and approach play threatening to slice through the visitors rearguard at every opportunity Hall pulled off the first of several fine saves on 20 minutes. Michael Gash played Danny Bloomfield in through the centre and doing enough to see off the attentions of Billy Caldwell the City striker arrowed a drive towards the top corner of the net before Hall parried the ball clear.
In the following minutes Waterbeach enjoyed by far their best spell of the match. Darren Harris chased a through ball down the inside right channel, poking his shot wide of an advancing Alan Calton but Matt Rice was on hand to tidy up at the expense of a corner. From the resultant place kick the City stopper made a rare misjudgement allowing Caldwell a free header at the back post but the ball cannoned off James Quilter and behind. Moments later an intelligent run by Joe Salvage split Rice and Quilter but as he took the ball down to shot he fired wide of the target.
As City hit back Louis Riddle skated down the left outpacing Ian White and firing in a low near post cross. With Danny Bloomfield closing in an under pressure Simon Johnson stretched to cover but only succeeded in diverting the ball goalwards, an excellent reflex save by Hall keeping the ball out of the net.
There then followed a two minute spell which effectively killed the game as a contest. Firstly Michael Gash rose well in centre field to flick a header into the path of Danny Bloomfield who outpaced the visitors defence (which had been caught square) before sliding the ball to the left of Hall and in. With City camped in the Waterbeach half Nivens strength won a challenge in centre field forcing the ball out to the right where Bloomfield beat Johnson and fired across Hall for the Lilywhites third.
With ten minutes of the half remaining Trevor Hall was withdrawn and replaced by Sammy Lawson.
In the final five minutes of the half City managed to find the net on four further occasions. The visitors fragile offside trap was sprung yet again by Bloomfield who advanced into the area only to be felled by a mis-timed Hall challenge. Stuart Nivens resultant place kick fired low to the keepers left and in.
Niven was at the heart of Citys fifth goal too, orchestrating a neat passing move before freeing Miller through the inside right position, the former Bedford midfielder doubling his tally for the evening by drawing the keeper before steering the ball around him.
Paul Bass comes away with the ball
With the visitors no doubt willing Mr Griffiths to blow for half-time, Godbold, showing good control wide on the right nutmegged Johnson and played the ball in low to the near post where Bloomfield was on hand to divert home and complete his hat-trick. Within moments it was seven, Ian White who had his hands full with the quick silver Riddle chose unwisely to pass across his own goal, succeeding only in picking out the predatory Bloomfield who gratefully buried the chance.
At the interval Jez George - Gary Roberts was on a pre-FA Cup spying mission at Lowestoft - withdrew both Rob Miller and Louis Riddle replacing them with Paul Bass and Shane Wardley respectively. For the visitors Carl Donovan came on at right back for Ian White.
With the hour mark fast approaching a Jamie Godbold pile-driver cannoned off the underside of the bar bouncing on the line before being partially cleared to the left where Shane Wardleys low first time cross found Craig Pope on the far post but his goal was ruled out as he was adjudged to have strayed beyond the last defender.
Moments later Alan Calton was forced into rare action when the lively Savage ran beyond the City back line through the inside left channel. His early shot forcing the Lilywhites keeper to save low to his left at the expense of a corner.
As Waterbeach began to feel the effects of playing a chasing game Nick Hall was introduced in place of Darren Harris, soon to be followed by Citys final change, James Wilson coming on for Matt Rice.
Having weathered the storm for the opening 30 minutes of the half the visitors fell victim to a storming City finale. Good work by Lewis Baillie down the left created a shooting opportunity for Bloomfield, his strike from the edge of the box was straight at the unfortunate Hall who allowed the ball to go straight through him.
On 77 minutes City scored arguably the best goal of the evening. Lewis Baillie again looking strong down the left hand side played the ball into Michael Gash who skilfully side-stepped Sammy Lawson before floating a perfect cross onto the head of the advancing Jamie Godbold whose angled effort found the back of the net via the inside of Halls left hand upright.
Jamie Godbold runs the ball into the Waterbeach net
As the game entered the final ten minutes Godbold combined with Gash to set up Baillie who was denied a first City goal by another good stop from Hall, this time low to his left. Paul Basss resultant corner was only partly cleared allowing him to whip the ball in for a second time, the quality of the delivery was too good for the visiting defenders allowing Gash the opportunity to convert at the far post.
Three minutes later the same combination set up Danny Bloomfield for his sixth and final goal of the evening. On this occasion Gash cushioned Basss cross into the path of the City marksman allowing him to lash the ball home from close range.
With time as good as up Wardleys drilled pass found Gash on the left, springing the offside trap once again the Academy striker crossed low into the feet of Godbold enabling the former Stoke City midfielder to walk the ball around the prone Hall and complete the scoring.
Whilst its difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from a match of this nature Citys youngsters showed enough to suggest that given first team opportunities they would be more than likely to give a good account of themselves.
A good all round professional display on the night against opponents who never let their heads drop.