Hitchin 0, Norwich City 10
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City were ruthless again on Hitchin's big night with Tony Andreu producing an eye-catching second half cameo in the visitors' latest pre-season romp.
City showcased their new away strip at Top Field to mark the non league Canaries' 150th celebrations, but it was the Frenchman, on Bastille Day, who threatened to steal the show with a sharp hat-trick as Alex Neil's men cut loose after the interval.
Cameron Jerome's brace had put Norwich in control for the first half line up before City upped the ante against the Southern Premier League club.
Andreu, Gary Hooper and Wes Hoolahan struck within the space of six minutes before Andreu added two more either side of Gary O'Neil's cool slot, who struck a late second before Steven Whittaker completed the rout.
Youssouf Mulumbu made his first appearance for his new club and the likes of Russell Martin, Alex Tettey and Jamar Loza all made their seasonal bow on another positive outing.
Neil again opted to name two completely different starting XIs in a repeat of his approach at Gorleston. The likes of Jonny Howson, Lewis Grabban and Vadis Ofoe were not included, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Kyle Lafferty also absent from the travelling party.
Bradley Johnson was deployed at left-back and Elliott Bennett on the opposite flank as Neil brokered a degree of experimentation. Tettey screened in front of Norwich's back four with Louis Thompson offering extra protection and Graham Dorrans given the licence to roam further forward than at Emerald Park.
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John Ruddy led Norwich out in their new away kit of green shorts with yellow piping, yellow shorts and green socks.
Hitchin started confidently with Jonny McNamara forcing an early corner but Ruddy, resplendent in neon pink, claimed the high cross.
Dorrans was dropping deeper between Ryan Bennett and Seb Bassong to spark City's attacking motions in the early sparring with Hitchin biting into the challenge in those central areas.
The Scottish international's vision and weight of pass was evident in the 13th minute when he picked out the overlapping Loza but Hitchin held firm to thwart the danger.
The deadly Jerome followed up his hat-trick at Gorleston with the opening salvo, swivelling and cracking a low shot in one fluid movement that appeared to surprise Charlie Horlock down to his near post from the edge of the box.
City, however, were indebted to Ruddy two minutes later when the England international underlined his shot-stopping prowess with a one-handed tip over to claw out Matt Lench's goalbound hit after Hitchin had worked an extra man in the City penalty area.
Norwich had clearly targeted the Hitchin left-flank for special attention, with the pace and directness of Loza a prominent feature and the Jamaican international picked out Jerome to sweep home at the near post in the 27th minute.
The new look Norwich took only six minutes to add a third when Hooper's sharp cut-back was smashed home by Andreu on the half-volley.
Andreu returned the favour for Hooper to embarrass Horlock and walk into the unguarded net from two yards out.
Horlock's night deteriorated rapidly when he was adjudged to have hauled down Jacob Murphy and Hoolahan sent him the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Andreu clearly was keen to impress and added a close range sixth for his third in two pre-season games as Norwich showed few signs of any charity towards the hosts on their big night. O'Neil rattled home a seventh after impressive industry from Harry Toffolo down the left before Andreu completed his hat-trick.
Michael Turner's back pass momentarily caused Declan Rudd a nervy moment although the City number two thumped clear ahead of Jamie Arlick, before O'Neil and Whittaker sealed the win.
Hitchin (first half): Horlock, Rolfe, Webb, Ann, Bickerstaff, Pearson, Donnelly, McNamara, Smith, Lench, Martin.
Norwich City (first half): Ruddy, E Bennett, R Bennett, Bassong, Johnson, Tettey, Dorrans, Thompson, Loza, Josh Murphy, Jerome.
Hitchin (second half): Horlock, Rolfe, Arlick, Ann, Bickerstaff, Pearson, Donnelly, McNamara, Smith, Lench, Kirkpatrick.
Norwich City (second half): Rudd, Whittaker, Martin, Turner, Toffolo, Mulumbu, O'Neil, Andreu, Hoolahan, Jacob Murphy, Hooper.
Goals: Jerome (15, 27), Andreu (51, 62, 75), Hooper (54), Hoolahan (57), O'Neil (64, 85), Whittaker (90)
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)