The Hatters suffered an Emirates FA Cup third round exit as they were beaten 4-0 by AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.


Philip Billing opened the scoring within the first ten minutes, before Alan Sheehan missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time for the Town.

After the break England international Callum Wilson came off the bench to score, Billing grabbed his second of the game and Dominic Solanke scored his first Cherries’ goal after being denied initially by VAR early in the first half.

Graeme Jones made nine changes from the team that was defeated 3-1 defeat at Millwall on New Year’s Day, which included a debut for Donervon Daniels - who was recalled early from his loan at Doncaster Rovers.

The Premier League outfit started on the front foot and took the lead in the eighth minute through Billing, who hit a volley into the ground which looped up into the top corner, past the reach of Simon Sluga.

Bournemouth had the ball in the back of the net once again in the 16th minute as Solanke flicked Ryan Fraser’s corner on at the front post. However, his joy was short-lived as VAR intervened and ruled out the goal after judging that Harry Wilson had interfered with play.

Town were presented a magnificent chance to level proceedings as Billing gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Cornick to run through towards goal. But one-on-one, Mark Travers denied the former Bournemouth man and the hosts cleared their lines.

The Hatters were very much alive in the contest though, and saw much more of the ball as the game passed the half-hour mark.

Glen Rea - making his first start since suffering serious injury in December 2018 - sprayed an inch-perfect ball wide to Daniels who in-turn found Butterfield inside. The midfielder took a few touches and got the ball on to his right-foot, before firing narrowly over the bar.

Town's presence in the game grew even more as they were awarded a penalty in added time at the end of the first half after Matty Pearson was brought down by Billing inside the area. Captain Sheehan took responsibility from the spot, but slipped as he saw his effort cannon off the bar.

After Elliot Lee and George Moncur had sent shots just off target early in the second half, Junior Stanislas had a good chance to extend the Cherries’ lead after he was played through by Solanke, but his chipped effort went over the bar.

In the 67th minute Wilson came off the bench to score with his first touch, before Bournemouth grabbed their third goal of the afternoon through Billing’s low drive from the edge of the box with just over ten minutes to play.

The hosts grabbed a fourth in the 82nd minute as Solanke managed to get his elusive goal after the ball dropped kindly towards him from close range, a score-line harsh on the Hatters who battled well with their Premier League hosts throughout the 90 minutes.

Attention now turns back to the Sky Bet Championship, when the Hatters welcome Birmingham City to Kenilworth Road next Saturday.

BOURNEMOUTH: Travers, Francis, Mepham, Simpson, Rico (Cook 77), H.Wilson, Surman, Billing, Fraser (Dobre 80), Stanislas (C.Wilson 66), Solanke. Subs not used: Ramsdale, Lerma, Kilkenny, Surridge

Goals: Billing (8, 79), C.Wilson (67), Solanke (82)

Yellows: Billing

TOWN: Sluga, Pearson, Jones, Daniels, Sheehan (Bree 77), Rea, Butterfield (Berry 68), Shinnie, Moncur (Bolton 68), Cornick, Lee. Subs not used: Shea, Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Collins

Yellows: Jones

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 10,064 (1,714)

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