City ran riot with eight goals on a brisk night in Cornwall over Southern League outfit in Mousehole at Trungle Parc.
Vincent Harper secured himself a brace, followed by excellent finishes from Sam Nombe, Mitch Beardmore, Jack Aitchison, Sonny Cox, Reece Cole and Pedro Borges.
Lining up in the usual five back formation, Gary Caldwell made vast changes to the two separate elevens fielded in the previous game away to Tiverton. With first starts handed to Jake Richards in the opening 45 and the second half seeing first team appearances awarded to Sam Joyce and Tom Dean.
It was a good start from Caldwell's side as 15-year-old Richards on his first start for the first team picked up the ball with ease in the centre of the park. His first pass found Demetri Mitchell on the left-hand side who laid it back to Harry Kite, but the midfield maestro’s strike cleared the bar.
The next attack for City saw the opening goal of the game, Harper on his second start for the club found space on the right-hand side, and having cut in on his favoured left foot, let loose, burying the ball into the bottom corner.
Mousehole almost found a way back in inside the opening 10 minutes, but fantastic awareness from Harry Lee stopped and almost certain goal from the opposing number nine Mark Goldsworthy.
With 15 minutes on the clock, City were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box after tricky feet from Aitchison forced the defenders in green to bring him down. The Scot stepped up to take the free kick, but his effort was not able to beat the wall.
As the game ventured toward the 20th minute mark, Cheick Diabate was caught dawdling on the ball and a Mousehole attacker pipped the ball from him, but in a flash, Diabate pulled him back as he was about to run through in on goal.
After a quick throw in their own half, City launched a quick attack resulting in them doubling their lead. Richards picked up the ball and played a lovely pass through the middle to Aitchison who waited for the run from Harper before sliding the wing back in. On his week foot, the tricky winger played the ball to Nombe, who at the first attempt found the gloves of Ollie Chenoweth, but he was not missing from the second attempt as he blasted the ball into an empty net.
Right on the cusp of the half-hour, City found the back of the net courtesy of Aitchison. Picking up the ball on the left-hand side, Aitchison showed why Gary picked him up this summer. His tricky feet led to him fooling a few defenders and with the ball on his right foot and just inside the 18-yard box smashed the ball to the right-hand side of the keeper, rippling the back of the net.
Some wonderful link up play between Mitchell and Aitchison was starting to really bamboozle the Cornish outfit's defence, but a brilliant block from a defender in green stopped City from making it four.
With City very much in control, the flair was starting to show, Aitchison and Mitchell were linking up once again and with half time fast approaching, City were wanting to get more goals in the game. Up stepped Harper, who with a fantastic solo effort found the back of the net, getting himself on the scoresheet for the second time.
In quick succession, with two goals in two minutes, City got their fifth of the game. Beardmore found space just inside the opposing area and let loose a low driven shot past Chenoweth in the Mousehole goal, and with that came the end of the first half.
Out for the second half, City were completely changed once again as Gary was making sure he was to get a good account of all players involved in the squad.
It was a quick start for the second XI for City as they came out the blocks at a canter with Sonny Cox leading the line. The youngster had the first effort of the second half on goal as he picked up a loose defensive pass, threatening the keeper with a strong effort from range.
The next time round Cox couldn’t miss. After a mistake at the back, Borges picked up the loose ball and with the whole goal to aim for unselfishly played the ball across the six-yard box for Cox to tap in from a few yards out, securing City their sixth of the game.
Even with being six goals down, Mousehole were still showing fight and with lots of confidence they were starting to bring the ball out from the back. In the 55th minute, they had their most meaningful effort of the game as Gary Woods was forced into a fingertip save to send the ball over the bar.
With 70 minutes on the clock, Borges almost got himself on the scoresheet but his effort from range sailed wildly over the bar, and following that City made an unplanned change as Richards was called upon again to replace Sweeney, who looked like he may have been carrying a slight knock.
City were really keeping on the pressure as the clock ran down, this time Joe O’Connor found himself in an advanced role and tested the Mousehole keeper, who did well to keep hold of a strong effort from the wing back.
With only five minutes left on the clock, Cole picked up the ball from O’Connor on the far side, after an impressive solo run from Cox. Sitting comfortably 35 yards out, Cole send a thunderous strike right down the throat of the keeper, leaving the keeper nothing to do, other than watch it sail right past him.
It was another in quick succession for the Grecians, as this time Borges got himself in on the action, after assisting Cox earlier in the half, he found himself barrelling down on goal, and with the keeper rushing out to him saw it fit to send a cheeky dink over him.
That was that for City with Borges goal the last bit of action of the game, securing an impressive eight goal victory over the Cornish outfit.
City Team 1: Lee, Harper, Billington, Diabate, Hartridge, Mitchell, Kite, Richards, Beardmore, Aitchison, Nombe ©
City Team 2: Woods, Caprice, Sweeney (Richards), Aimson ©, Joyce, Edgecombe, Dean, Cole, O’Connor, Borges, Cox
Mousehole: Chenoweth, Otto, Fraser, Hill, Lewis, Elcock, Calver ©, Mitchell, Turner, Goldsworthy, Mconie
Subs not used: Moyle, Kevern, Bissett, Sousa, Symons, Evans, Willis, Nixon, Boyd