CROSBY, England: Brazilian Carlos Vinicius struck a first-half hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur avoided an FA Cup banana skin with ease, enjoying a 5-0 win at eighth-tier Marine AFC in the third round on Sunday.
Marine, who play in the Northern Premier League, Division One North West, lay 161 places below Spurs in the English football pyramid - the biggest gap that the Cup has produced.
Although COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the game being played behind closed doors, Marine's small ground is surrounded by the backs of local houses which meant a number of supporters were able to watch the game from their back gardens.
The Merseyside club stuck at their task well, particularly in the opening stages and they nearly gave Spurs a shock in the 20th minute when Neil Kengni struck the bar with a long-range effort which former England keeper Joe Hart opted to let go only for the ball to dip late and strike the woodwork.
But four minutes later Vinicius opened the scoring, converting from close range after a low ball into the box from Dele Alli.
Alli, who has been a fringe figure for most of this season, then fed Matt Doherty whose shot was pushed out by Marine keeper Bayleigh Passant and Vinicius was on-hand to tap-in.
Another Brazilian, Lucas Moura, then curled in a free kick for the third before Vinicius completed his hat-trick in the 37th minute with a left-foot curler.
Alfie Devine, who became Spurs' youngest player at 16-years and 163 days old, came on as a substitute at the break and scored on the hour with a well-taken strike that zipped in the near post.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)