Paul Harsley's youngsters were a class above in tonight's friendly at Penistone.
The U23s put in an impressive display this evening with hosts Penistone struggling to contain the young Reds from the get-go.
With just three minutes on the clock, Josh Kay struck a powerful low drive into the bottom left corner from 25 yards. It was a superb strike and set the tone for the night.
The mecurial Amir Berkovits was unplayable early on from the left flank and he twice went close to making it 2-0.
His first effort was a volley that rattled the crossbar following a deep cross from the right; minutes later he tried to bend an effort into the top corner only to be denied by a fine fingertip save.
The second goal arrived just after the half hour mark, and it was Jared Bird on target. The midfielder scored direct from a free kick, 25 yards out. It beat the 'keeper all ends up.
After the break and a handful of changes, the Reds resumed where they'd left off.
Number 8 was a Trialist and his slide-rule through-ball found Tom Clare bearing down on goal and the big frontman finished with real coolness to make it 3-0.
He added a second almost immediately.
Shaun Tuton found him on the angle of the box and Clare drove it powerfully into the roof of the net for 4-0.
He wasn't done there, though...
It was a great night for the young Academy product as he completed a superb hat-trick when he slotted home from close in after some fine work out wide by Sam Tingle and Cam Simpson.
The hosts deserved a goal in truth. Sub 'keeper Jake Greatorex made two splendid saves to deny Church a goal before they finally managed it deep into the game via a deflected free-kick.
And so it ended 5-1 to Harsley's young charges, with valuable minutes in a competitive environment the key to the evening.
PENISTONE 1-5 REDS U23s