Godmanchester Rovers had a first win of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division all but sewn up within seconds last night.
It was also a first competitive triumph for new boss Matt Clements as they bashed Thetford 8-0 at Bearscroft Lane in a match featuring a second-minute dismissal and a 12-minute hat-trick.
Visiting defender Sam Bond was the man to see red when conceding the penalty from which Michael Hyem fired Rovers into an early advantage and enabled them to engage cruise control, while frontman James Hall was the man to bag himself three goals and a man-of-the-match accolade.
The lack of ruthlessness, which had blighted Goddy in an opening day defeat at Brantham, was again evident in the first half.
Plenty of slick build-up play was let down by tame finishing. Hall drove a weak clearance straight back at Thetford goalkeeper Ian Fawcett before Hyem took an eternity to get a shot away when being denied at point-blank range.
They eventually doubled their lead when Hall slotted in five minutes before the break before Hyem and Dan Kerrigan saw efforts saved and blocked on the line by a defender respectively in the same attack.
Rovers did receive a couple of big let-offs in the dying moments of the half. Goalkeeper Niall Conroy was fortunate not to concede a penalty after shoving a Thetford striker to the deck before Simon Cuddy headed against the bar.
But they proved to be the only moments of danger as Rovers extended their advantage through Lloyd Groves’ header on the stroke of the interval before predictably ran riot in the second period.
They played with pomp and swagger, and, more importantly, had more cutting edge (most of the time anyway) as they tormented tired opponents.
Hall bagged his second after a surging run from Tom Spark before completing his quick treble from the spot following a handling offence.
Substitute Austen Diaper made it six after Fawcett had only partially stopped a Kerrigan effort, then Kerrigan himself added a seventh with a goal that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a PlayStation game as Hyem gloriously took down a pass from the right and slipped the ball into his path.
Hyem did the honours from the spot to complete the scoring after being dragged down by Thetford defender Luke Bailey, who generously escaped with a yellow card from referee Sean Feerick, before substitute Ben Yeomans fluffed arguably the easiest chance of the night in the final seconds.
It mattered little though on a night when they received a gift-wrapped opportunity to get their season up and running. Considerably tougher challenges will lie ahead, starting with an FA Cup visit to fellow Premier Division side Walsham-le-Willows this Saturday.