CLINICAL finishing was the difference as Wrexham began their pre-season programme with a 4-0 victory over Cefn Druids.

The Reds lacked creativity and did not score enough goals last term despite securing a play-off spot, areas that manager Bryan Hughes wants to address.

And the early signs are positive as Wrexham showed a real ruthless streak, going 3-0 up inside the opening 22 minutes.

Summer signings played a key role as Wrexham put the game beyond their Welsh Premier League hosts, with impressive interplay causing all sorts of problems.

The chances came and Wrexham took them as midfielder Devante Redmond opening the scoring before fellow new-boy JJ Hooper added a brace.

Druids, also playing their first friendly having only just reported back for training, never gave up and tested Wrexham goalkeeper Christian Dibble before the break.

Hughes named a different, more youthful side for the second half with trialist Chris Dagnall also playing and a couple of players stood out.

Druids again had chances but Wrexham took one of theirs as Akil Wright completed the scoring, and it was a job well done as far as Hughes was concerned.

“It was a good performance,” said Hughes. “It is about getting minutes in the bank.

“It is the end of our first week, they have worked hard and there was some good stuff out there.

“I want the players to move the ball quick. It was hard, it was hot and the pitch was a bit sticky but overall very satisfied. There was some good interplay up there.

“We took our goals really well and it was pleasing to see players going beyond and not necessarily always come looking for the ball short.

“Sometimes in football you can hurt teams by going in behind with pace and power and we certainly showed that first half.”

First year pro Matty Sargent played the first half and earned praise from Hughes along with some of the youngsters who featured after the break.

“If you look at it as a whole for the club, we have got some good talent coming through,” said Hughes.

“The focus is obviously our first team, this is a big year for us and we want to hit the ground running, and we have done that today.

“We put a real shift in. Testament to Druids, they gave us a good fight; it was a good game and they moved the ball quick themselves.

“I think our quality just outshone on the day and it was good to get the lads back into some position-specific stuff rather than just on the training ground.

“It is always a bit more real when you come into game time so a lot of positives.”

Druids boss How Griffiths rued his side’s missed opportunities.

“We created chances but I think the difference was the quality of the finishing,” said Griffiths.

“The Wrexham goalkeeper made two or three good saves first half, we had one good save, but they have just been clinical.

“Three nil down after 21 minutes and the game is done and dusted. The better quality came from Wrexham.

“We created chances second half which is a bonus but ultimately we haven’t scored a goal which is something we have got to work on now.”

Wrexham made the breakthrough after 10 minutes. Hooper put Redmond through on goal and the midfielder slotted past goalkeeper Nic Bulmer.

The second goal arrived in the 18th minute. Hooper raced onto Redmond’s through-ball and was brought down by Aaron Simpson in the area but the striker picked himself up and converted the resulting penalty.

It quickly became 3-0 as James Jennings’ cross to the far post was headed home by Hooper.

Druids came close to pulling a goal back but Ryan Kershaw and Dean Rittenburg were denied by Dibble in between Mark Harris hitting the post for Wrexham.

Although Wrexham’s trialist goalkeeper made two important saves after the break, the fourth goal arrived in the 65th minute as Wright headed home Luke Young’s corner.

Cefn Druids first half: Bulmer; Cartwright, Simpson, Ashton, Arsan; Kershaw, Trialist A; Hughes, Rittenburg, Edge; Owen; Second half: Jones; Cartwright, Peate, Simpson, Trialist C; Trialist B, Owen; Daykin, Rittenburg, Edge; Trialist D.

Wrexham first half: Dibble; Trialist A, Beaumont, Pearson, Jennings; Rutherford, Sargent, Redmond; Grant, Hooper, Harris; Second half: Trialist D; Carrington, Tharme, Cleworth, Thorn; Daley, Young, Wright; Trialist E, McIntosh, McGregor.

Referee: Tom Owen. Attendance: 1,222.