David Vaughan and Kelvin Wilson played the full game as Nottingham Forest U21's hit four past Sheffield Wednesday yesterday afternoon.
Both were back to their excellent best to ensure The Owls barely had a sniff.
Wilson linked up alongside Louis Laing in the heart of the defence, with Roger Riera and Kieron Fenton occupying the full-back roles.
The strength didn't stop there as Vaughan was aided in midfield by Jorge Grant, Josh Rees and Jack Blake.
The Welshman helped get The Reds off to an ideal start within 2 minutes. His inswinging corner found the leap of Riera and the Spaniard ruthlessly nodded into the bottom corner.
Stuart Pearce and Steve Wigley looked on as confidence oozed through the side, with Forest's passing getting into full swing.
Vaughan proceeded to run the early exchanges, busy on the ball and spraying long-range passes out to create openings, with Oliver Burke looking a constant threat.
Tyler Walker had a golden chance to extend the lead following more good work from Vaughan, but lost his balance at the crucial moment with the goal at his mercy.
The back four continued to defend with poise, with Wilson marshalling.
Despite outplaying the hosts, the real punishment was put on hold for the entertaining second half.
Another Vaughan corner was the route for Gilligan's men to double their lead. Confusion inside the box allowed substitute Jake Wholey to pounce from 8 yards out, with keeper Joe Wildsmith looking on helplessly from the floor.
Walker was joined by his U18's colleague Oliver Burke up-front in the second period, and they combined for the third goal.
The former collected the ball in a pocket of space and threaded the ball cleverly through for Burke who calmly tucked away his third goal in three games.
Forest were all over the hosts and they soon hit a fourth to put the game beyond any doubt. An exquisite cross from Wholey was planted perfectly for Grant's run from midfield, and he poked the ball beyond Wildsmith.
With the scoreline putting them at ease, The Reds' ball players shone through. Blake, Rees, Grant and Vaughan ensured the opposition went the full game chasing shadows, with lovely link-up play in both directions, as the energetic frontline of Walker and Burke looked keen to go one better than their senior counterparts with a fifth.
Despite not being able to, the gloss wasn't taken off the magnificent display, with the returnees providing a welcome selection headache for Stuart Pearce.
Gilligan's men next face Colchester United away, Monday September 1 (7pm kick off)
Starting XI: Durrant, Riera, Wilson, Laing, Fenton (Wholey 60'), Rees, Grant (Gnahore 90'), Vaughan, Blake, Burke, Walker.