Bournemouth 1 West Brom 4
West Brom secured safe passage to the Carling Cup third round against Bournemouth despite manager Roy Hodgson naming an all-changed side at Dean Court.
All 11 players that suffered a late 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge were left out of the 18-man squad, with the Baggies manager instead giving a chance to peripheral squad players and youngsters.
While the west Midlanders did not perform with aplomb on the south coast, Hodgson’s charges secured a comfortable 4-1 victory without ever exerting too much pressure against the npower League One side.
The returning Jerome Thomas broke the deadlock with a neat finish in the seventh minute, before Marc-Antoine Fortune extended the visitors’ lead with half-time approaching.
Steve Lovell pulled one back for Bournemouth just seconds after the restart, but Simon Cox and Fortune’s second of the evening wrapped up the victory.
Heading into the match, Cherries boss Lee Bradbury made three changes to the side defeated at Carlisle, bringing in Adam Barrett, Lovell and Marc Pugh.
Hodgson, by comparison, completely overhauled his squad and handed debuts to Marton Fulop, Gareth McAuley, Craig Dawson and Billy Jones, while youngster George Thorne celebrated penning a new deal earlier today with his first start for the club.
The vast number of changes were evident in the opening exchanges as the visitors looked disjointed, although they still managed to break the deadlock in just the seventh minute.
Having shaken off a groin problem to get his first action of the season, Thomas ghosted down the left flank and cut inside before potting home with ease.
Despite falling behind, Bournemouth looked undeterred and had several chances to level with Harry Arter, Scott Malone and Lyle Taylor all wasting chances.
However, West Brom’s superior class was evident in attacking positions and Cherries keeper Daryl Flahavan was forced into two saves in quick succession in the 25th minute.
The former Southend goalkeeper parried away a fierce Graham Dorrans free-kick and then produced a neat reaction save to thwart Fortune.
Nathan Byrne was on hand shortly afterwards to block a goalbound Thomas drive, before Barrett saw a diving header fly just wide as the break approached.
Any Bournemouth hopes of a recovery looked to be extinguished three minutes before half-time when West Brom doubled their advantage, with Cox dispossessing Malone and crossing from the right for Fortune to score.
The impressive-looking Thomas was replaced at the break by Joe Mattock for West Brom, who let the home side back into the match a minute after the restart as Lovell prodded home from close range.
With the deficit reduced, the Cherries attacked in numbers but soon saw hopes of a comeback seemingly snuffed out as Cox broke free and curled the ball around Flahavan in the 53rd minute.
Substitute Mattock almost extended West Brom’s lead further seven minutes later but his rasping 20-yard drive hit the near post and rebound away from danger.
However, the elusive-looking fourth goal did arrive in the 78th minute when Fortune turned Shaun Cooper and thundered home from close range.
The Frenchman’s second proved the last action of note at Dean Court as the visitors played out a comprehensive away victory to the delight of the 789 visiting fans.