Hemel Hempstead Town made St Albans City pay the full price for putting out a barely recognisable side for Tuesday's Herts Charity Cup semi final at Vauxhall Road as the Tudors handed the Saints a humiliating and painful 10-0 drubbing - the biggest cup defeat in City's 100 year history.
Former Saint Garry Sippetts was the individual to benefit most from Cityâ€™s decision to field a side packed with players to have come through the Oaklands Development scheme as he plundered five goals, including an eight-minute hat-trick.
In fact, Hemel fell just one goal short of giving St Albans an eleven goal mauling that would have equalled the clubs record defeat received at home to Wimbledon in the Isthmian League on 9 November 1946.
The only players in the City side possessing any senior experience were midfielder James Quilter, appointed captain for the night, and the left-sided duo of Sam Hurrell and Hector Mackie. Quilter and Hurrell were withdrawn at the interval, by which time City were already four down.
Hemel started with seven of the side that defeated Concord Rangers in the FA Trophy at the weekend, and four of Saturdayâ€™s substitutes were also in action on Tuesday.
That Hemel won was of little surprise, that City so were completely out their depth will have surprised many and maybe exposes the gap between the Capital League, in which most of these youngster play for the City Reserves, and senior non-league football.
The Saints actually made a promising start with Tegana James making a positive run through the home defence in the first minute before running out of pitch. But by the third minute the annihilation had begun. A long throw from the Hemel right by Mark Coulson was fumbled by the debut making City keeper Jake Palmer with Nathan Bowden-Haase prodding home from close range.
Two weeks earlier Bowden-Haase scored the goal that saw Hemel Reserves tip the City Reserves out of the Presidents Cup. This time his strike kick-started a rush of four goals in 21 minutes â€“ the second half saw Hemel scored six times in 25 minutes including four in eight minutes as City capitulated.
As unlikely as it seems City could have been level on eight minutes when Dean Regis neatly worked his way into a good position only to then blaze the ball way over the top.
Hemel midfield Steve Sinclair, in excellent form throughout, showed no such wayward shooting when taking possession on 14 minutes and drilling home a glorious effort from 25-yards via the underside of the crossbar. Five minutes later Sinclair was the provider from the Hemel right with a cross that Sippetts lashed into the centre of the goal.
Hemel rounded off their first half scoring in the 24th minute when Coulsonâ€™s free-kick, again from the Tudors right, was glanced on at the near post by skipper Paul Edgeworth. The ball then flew untouched inside the far post.
During the remainder of the half Quilter headed wide, Mackie blazed miles over with time to take better aim and Hurrell sent a soft effort through to home keeper Ian Brown. Busy City keeper Palmer pushed an effort from Edgeworth into the side netting and made and excellent blocked low to his right to deny Sippetts.
For the opening 15 minutes of the second half Hemel appeared content with their haul as Palmerâ€™s only serious work came in dealing with a curling shot from Chris Herron but on the hour the City keeper was helpless to stop Sippetts from hammering the ball in after Ian Cooperâ€™s shot had been charged down by Palmer.
The sixth goal was delayed until the 71st minute when Cooper shrugged off one challenge before planting a clinical shot to Palmerâ€™s left. Now the real onslaught was underway as Hemel sensed reaching double-figures.
Sippetts scored three times in his seven appearances for the Saints and matched that tally on 77 minutes with a clean strike following another pass by Coulson.
Two minutes later and Hemel, courtesy of Coulsonâ€™s successful penalty after a foul by Jack Cartwright on Cooper, became only the second side to put eight goals past City in a Hertfordshire cup competition. Barnet, way back on 22 March 1930, having been the first during an 8-1 romp at Underhill.
That tally was eclipsed on 84 minutes when Coulson crossed low from the Tudors left for Sippetts to drive his fourth of the night high into the City net. Less than sixty seconds later and the slaughter was complete as Coulson played a short pass to Herron and from his deep cross Sippetts headed home at the back post.
Two minutes from time City should have begun a somewhat unlikely comeback when Regis crossed the ball low from the City left to substitute Edson Pascoal. But after steadying himself inside the six-yard box the diminutive Pascoal found he had delayed his shot too long and eventually had the ball whipped from his toes.
Hemel Hempstead Town: I.Brown, S.Sweeney, M.Coulson, D.Deeney (A.Martin 73), N.Bowden-Haase, Y.Yeboah, S.Sinclair (S.Bateman 73), C.Herron, G.Sippetts, I.Cooper, P.Edgeworth (D.Roberts 73), subs; C.Dillon, S.Wales.
St Albans City: J.Palmer, T.Oham-Strachan, S.Hurrell (Aiden Byfield 46), J.Quilter (E.Pascoal 46), J.Lamonaca, J.Cartwright, D.Broux (K.Asamoah 57), C.Mortimer, D.Regis, T.James, H.Mackie, subs; I.Effiong, S.Bignall.
Goals: 1-0 Bowden-Haase (3), 2-0 Sinclair (14), 3-0 Sippetts (19), 4-0 Edgeworth (24), 5-0 Sippetts (60), 6-0 Cooper (71), 7-0 Sippetts (77), 8-0 Coulson (79p), 9-0 Sippetts (84), 10-0 Sippetts (85).
Referee: Steve Chittenden (St Albans).