CALLUM Wilson made his return to competitive action as Cherries kicked off their Premier League Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over Norwich City.

The former Coventry City striker played his first game since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a training session in February.

But it was striker Benik Afobe who took the plaudits on the night for Carl Fletcher’s side. He netted a hat-trick including the winner a minute from time to ensure Cherries got off to a positive start.

Wilson was named in the hosts’ line-up for their Group C opener and got through 66 minutes before being replaced by Mikael Ndjoli.

Emerson Hyndman and Afobe were also included in Cherries’ starting XI alongside a number of the club’s under-21 squad.

It was visitors Norwich who fashioned the first chance of the contest with just two minutes on the clock. Winger Savvas Mourgas found enough space on the edge of the box to get a shot off but his left-foot strike was comfortably gathered by home keeper Jordan Holmes.

A slick passing move from Cherries then saw Wilson go close on 24 minutes.

Neat work between Kyle Taylor and Hyndman allowed the striker to be teed up, but his effort was well held.

But it was Cherries who grabbed the opener on 38 minutes. Afobe turned away from his man having gathered a well-played pass from Shaun Hobson, and fired into the bottom corner.

Wilson then tried to get in on the act, having spun away at the near post and struck the ball into the side netting.

The hosts continued to control proceedings following the interval. Wilson’s ball across goal was nodded narrowly wide by a Keelan O’Connell.

On 65 minutes the returning striker then thought he’d scored.

He ran on to a ball from deep and chipped the ball into the net – only to be flagged offside.

That was to be the frontman’s final touch before he was substituted to a warm ovation from the home crowd.

But Cherries were rocked on 72 minutes when the Canaries hit back to make it 1-1. Substitute Anthony Spyrou drilled a cross across the six-yard box which was turned in by Tristan Abrahams.

Cherries then took the lead again as Afobe picked up the ball on the right hand side of the box before applying a confident finish into the bottom corner.

Striker Abrahams converted from close range again to level the game up at 2-2 just two minutes later, but it was Afobe who made the difference in the dying moments.

After latching on to a pass from Hyndman, the former Arsenal man skipped away from the visiting keeper and tucked the ball away to win the game.

Cherries: Holmes, Seaman, Harfield, Hyndman, Hobson, Simpson, Diaz, Taylor (Vincent, 83), Afobe, Wilson (Ndjoli, 66), O’Connell (Kilkenny, 74). Unused subs: Cordner, Dennis (g/k).