St Neots Town handed out a harsh lesson to Welwyn Garden City as they cruised to a comfortable win at Herns Lane.
Joe Rider scored two and there was one each for Nehemiah Richard-Noel and Myles Cowling, the latter the undoubted maestro in a well-orchestrated team performance.
Jordan Kinoshi pulled one back late on amid a late rally but by that point the Citizens had been beaten into submission.
And after a slow start to the season, this was much more what was expected of the away team.
For Welwyn though, this was a massive wake-up call and if their ambitions are to get promoted, this performance cannot be repeated.
Welwyn went for two changes from the side that beat Mulbarton Wanderers in their FA Cup replay. In came Jon Sexton and Dave Keenleyside with the unavailable Jess Walklin and Charlie Payne the men to make way.
St Neots too went for two changes from their last appearance, although that was 12 days ago on bank holiday Monday.
Erin Amu and Mamadou Jobe were the two to start with former Potters Bar Town midfielder Charley Barker dropping down to the bench and Aaron Smith missing out altogether.
That gap without a game could have gone against the visitors as they experienced a spot of rustiness.
That not only didn’t happen, it didn’t happen in absolutely emphatic fashion.
Saints took the lead on 11 minutes, doubled it 10 minutes from the break and could have probably wrapped it up with a couple of others, such was their dominance.
Cowling was effervescent in the opening 45 minutes, providing a spark and a creative outlet that had Welwyn chasing shadows at time.
He opened the scoring as he raced into the area to finish off a flick from Rider, who had connected first to a right-wing cross.
And he then repaid the favour with an excellent run down the left, holding off the desperate home defence to deliver a low cross that Rider took and touched and thumped home on the turn.
In between he pulled the strings for most of Saints better moments, of which there were many.
A little dinked pass had put Rider through shortly before the second and the sliced-volley needed Charlie Crowley to stick out a hand and push the ball away.
That led to a corner that was only kept out of the net by Lee Close’s head and from the resulting corner, Nehemiah Richard-Noel fluffed his lines seven yards out with an airshot.
But for how good St Neots were, Welwyn were a shadow of what they can be.
They were second best to the ball on almost every occasion and even when they got hold of it, the decision was either rushed or the wrong one.
Manager Nick Ironton had seen enough by 31 minutes as he brought off Joe Bennett to allow Ryan Doherty respite from the overwhelming job of playing in a defensive midfield role.
Payne got that unwanted job and fared only slightly better.
The one and only chance was Jordan Kinoshi’s half-chance after escaping the clutches of Charlie Johnson. Ben Heal’s superb tackle prevented a shot on goal.
The half-time whistle would have brought only a bittersweet relief and would have been filled with some harsh truths for the home side.
There was a small sign that Welwyn may at least make it more of a battle for the visitors in the second period but those hopes were quashed once and for all 10 minutes in.
The annoying thing for the Citizens was it came mere seconds after they made a substitution.
The ball though was played straight upfield to Richard-Noel and after twisting and turning, with more time than he deserved, he fired across Crowley and into the far corner.
Three became four seven minutes later with a shambolic defensive effort from WGC.
Goalkeeper Louis Chadwick launched a long ball forward and it dropped over a static back-line straight to Rider who didn’t even have to connect with it properly to put it away.
St Neots Town’s last visit in the league had ended in a 7-1 defeat and it was starting to look like it could be a similar score.
But with Elliot Bailey and Jack Vasey at least offering something as an attacking threat, Welwyn were able to stem the bleeding somewhat.
They even got rid of the zero next to their name.
Keenleyside had two efforts blocked before Kinoshi picked up the ball 30 yards out and after moving forward slightly, he flashed a shot beyond Chadwick with the aid of a deflection.
Bailey then had one cleared off the line by Heal before Kinoshi, under pressure, nodded the scramble wide.
It was way too little too late and the game closed out without any further worries for St Neots.
WGC: Crowley, Bennett (Payne 31), Sexton (Bailey 55), Doherty, Close, Rolfe, Kinoshi, Spaul, Watson (Vasey 66), Keenleyside, Taylor.
Subs (not used): Campbell-Mhlope, Adinna.
Goal: Kinoshi 75
Booked: Keenleyside 21, Spaul 61
St Neots Town: Chadwick, Marfo (Wilson-Braithwaite 90+1), Heal, Anderson, Johnson, Jobe, Cowling (Barker 84), Amu, Richard-Noel (Tasguim 80), Rider, Watkins.
Subs (not used): Steel, Peacock.
Goals: Cowling 11, Rider 35, 62, Richard-Noel 55
Booked: Marfo 90+1
HT: Welwyn Garden City 0 St Neots Town 2
Referee: Nathan Oakes (Chelmsford)