Stevie May left McDiarmid Park with the match ball in his possession, having savoured his first hat-trick since Hearts were the team in his sights six years ago.
Back then, in a memorable season which yielded 27 goals, much of the damage the tousle-haired striker inflicted on defences came from strikes dispatched from distance.
The latest May treble, which would have been an even more substantial haul but for several interventions by hard-pressed Brechin keeper Lewis McMinn, enjoyed a different hallmark, with all three finishes reserved for territory within the penalty box.
The victims were a hapless City side which had leaked half a dozen goals against Dundee United a few days earlier and left Perth relieved that the damage hadn’t encroached into double figures.
But May’s effervescence and focus in and around the six-yard box brought a smile to the faces of manager Callum Davidson and coach, and one-time on-field mentor, Steven MacLean, who have been encouraging the 27-year-old to fine-hone his poaching instincts.
Midfielder David Wotherspoon netted twice and might have been arm-wrestling May for the football had another effort not rebounded from an upright.
He also magnanimously invited substitute Callum Hendry to convert a penalty to get up and running for the season before Murray Davidson headed home a Callum Booth cross deep in stoppage time.
The weary Angus part-timers were chasing shadows long before the end, punch-drunk and floundering, but the glut of goals was welcomed by May and his colleagues, who rediscovered a route map that has been missing in recent Premiership matches.
“Getting the first goal early was a big thing and it was nice on a personal level,” said May following the 7-0 win.
“The manager wants me to get in the box as much as I can so it was nice to see those chances going in.
“We knew we would get opportunities if we played the way we know we can.
“It was tough for them fitness-wise after playing in midweek and they have less players than us to pick from.
“But we were really professional. The manager wanted a flying start.
“Their keeper played really well and the scoreline was harsh on him.
“You look at results elsewhere, where lesser teams picked up wins, so we had to get the job done, like we did in my first spell here against lower league teams.
“Obviously it is great for our confidence going into league games.”
It was May versus McMinn early on, with the keeper twice defying him at close quarters. But the striker’s reactions were sharper than the defenders as he bundled Saints ahead in the third minute.
His second and third after the interval were also converted at close range.
Wotherspoon enjoyed a productive afternoon, tucking away a composed finish from 12-yards in the 25th minute and sliding home Shaun Rooney’s 59th minute cutback.
Job done, rather than take the foot off the gas Saints continued to hound their harassed League Two opponents and Hendry slammed home his penalty after Davidson had been fouled by Gregor Jordan.
The midfielder then headed home in stoppage time to clock-up Saints biggest win since the famous 7-2 derby victory over Dundee 23 years ago.
There was no masking the gulf between the teams and the scoreline could, and should, have been even more emphatic, with Davidson smacking a post and home debutant Craig Bryson contriving to power a close range shot over the crossbar with the target at his mercy, and Brechin keeper McMinn was worked hard from start to finish.
City’s midweek endeavours in a 6-2 loss to Dundee United had left them drained and vulnerable, with ruthless Saints going for the jugular.
Keeper Zander Clark was tested just once, in the 72nd minute, and denied Scott Cusick a consolation counter by dropping to his left to produce an excellent one-handed save.
Manager Davidson praised the professionalism, attitude and application of his players, who went top of their group after Dundee United’s shock loss to Peterhead.
“We had to apply ourselves and I was really pleased we managed to score a few goals,” he said.
“The main aim of the group stages is to get through them. This will give everyone a lift.
“I was delighted for Stevie. The tap-in was the type of goal we are looking for from our strikers.”
With the game won, there was a 15-minute cameo for one of the Perth youngsters, by the name of Alex Ferguson. No pressure there then.
“He has just turned 17. He is a young lad with great ability and it was good to get him involved,” said Davidson.
“He looked composed. He even produced a Cruyff turn on the edge of the box.
“The boys give him a bit of stick about the name but he can take it.”
For City manager Mark Wilson it was an afternoon to wipe from the memory and he wasn’t in the mood for excuses.
“The players should find it unacceptable to lose by that margin to anyone,” he said.
“It is a sore one to take. We showed nothing and played into their hands. We were lucky to get away with seven if I am being brutally honest.
“But I can probably see who I can trust and who I can’t going forward.”