Hat-trick hero Gary Madine and playmaker Lee Tomlin teased and tormented hosts AFC Tavistock in the opening fixture of Cardiff City’s under-23 tour to Devon and Cornwall.
Centre-forward Madine scored three times in the first 30 minutes, two of them created by the ever-dangerous Tomlin, who weighed with in with a goal of his own.
Tomlin, looking sharper, hungrier and leaner than at any time since he signed for Cardiff, has the football brain and ability to be a major hit in the Championship this season and he combined beautifully with the menacing Madine.
Tavistock simply could not cope with the powerful Madine, while Tomlin operated just behind the main striker in a free role.
Both should have been heading to North America with manager Neil Warnock’s first team, but stayed behind because of visa issues and linked with the Bluebirds development squad.
The full list of Bluebirds goalscorers at the Langsmead Stadium is Madine (3), Tomlin, Jake Evans, Tom Sang and Dan Griffiths.
Tavistock, nicknamed the Lambs, were crowned South West Peninsular League champions last season, but they struggled against coach Andy Legg’s young team.
City used 19 players with Joel Bagan and Trystan Jones the only two to stay on for the full match. For the last 20 minutes, Cardiff took off Shamar Moore and played on with a 10-strong team.
Shamar Moore and Sang impressed in wide positions, while Neil Warnock’s son William was solid at full-back.
Jake Evans fired City in front after two minutes and Madine almost made it two after Tomlin picked him out with an accurate diagonal pass. Madine controlled with his chest, turned and fired in a shot which goalkeeper Josh Oak saved superbly.
Madine scored his first of the evening after good work by Moore on nine minutes, while Tavistock created a rare chance on 15 minutes when Rhys Shapley ran clear. He was denied by an outstanding save by Alex Smithies, throwing himself to push the shot away one-handed.
Tomlin impressed spectators again. After 26 minutes when he produced first class touch to control a wayward cross and put it at his feet. He turned before defenders could react and clipped a delightful cross in for Madine to head in at the far post.
If the big man is given that sort of service at Championship level he will thrive.
Madine completed his hat-trick on the half hour before Tomlin made it 5-0 (36 minutes).
Sang put in a good cross from the right and Madine was close with a sharp header before former Manchester United player Sang smashed home from the edge of the penalty area (6-0, 55 minutes).
City were in seventh heaven when Griffiths completed the scoring after 70 minutes.
Legg’s development team now play Bodmin Town on Wednesday and then Plymouth Parkway (Friday).
AFC Tavistock: Josh Oak,Rhys Shapley, Dan Evans, Matt David, Josh Robins, Jack Craigo, Jack Hallett, Warren Daw, Tallan Burns, Lee Coombes, Dan Viall. Subs: Jamie Hinds, Harry Dwelly, Gino Garside, Brandon Roberts, Parnell, Luke Brown.
Cardiff City: Alex Smithies, Joel Bagan, Trystan Jones, Ben Margetson, William Warnock, Patten, Evans, Shamar Moore, Tom Sang, Jacob Evans, Lee Tomlin, Gary Madine. Subs, all used: Ryan Pryce, Matthew Hall (gk), Sam Bowen, Laurence Wootton, Dan Griffiths, Dan Williams, Conor Davies, Jack Davies.
Referee: Mark Walley.