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Cherries: Leaders downed in Howe's first game back (with video)
The Wirralsiders’ unbeaten start to the season was dismantled inside 21 minutes as Howe’s men ran riot to climb out of the bottom four.
Marc Pugh’s deflected free-kick after 51 minutes started the ball rolling and cancelled out Jake Jervis’s first-half opener for the visitors.
Harry Arter fired Cherries into the lead with stunning strike after 58 minutes before Simon Francis completed the scoring with another thumping drive in the 72nd minute.
New Cherries boss Howe made two changes to his first starting line-up with Arter and Josh McQuoid both drafted in.
The pair came in for Richard Hughes, sidelined for between four to six weeks with a hamstring injury, and Eunan O’Kane, who dropped down to the bench.
Tranmere, runaway leaders of League One, handed a debut to new loan signing Jervis, who joined on the eve of the clash from Birmingham.
Cherries went close to drawing first blood after seven minutes when, following a slick passing move, McQuoid almost got on the end of a tantalising cross from Charlie Daniels.
Goalkeeper David James had to be on his toes to save from Jervis after the loan striker had met with a low volley an Adam McGurk free kick.
Lee Barnard’s flicked header was helped over the crossbar by Rovers goalkeeper Owain fon Williams before McGurk’s rasping drive soared over the top.
The visitors took the lead in the 39th minute when Jake Cassidy got the better of Miles Addison before teeing up Jervis who swept the ball past James from around 10 yards.
Cherries levelled six minutes after the restart when Pugh’s free-kick found the back of the net with Rovers defender Ben Gibson possibly applying the final touch.
And Howe’s men took the lead just seven minutes later when Arter rifled home a second from the edge of the box following good work by McQuoid.
As Cherries went in search of a third, McQuoid’s first-time effort flashed past the post before fon Williams scrambled across his line to save from substitute Matt Tubbs.
Fon Williams was powerless to stop Francis adding a third in the 73rd minute, the defender’s thunderous drive whistling past the Rovers goalkeeper en route to the bottom corner.
Cherries: James, Francis, Elphick, Addison, Daniels, Grabban (Tubbs, 62), MacDonald, Arter (Partington, 80), Pugh, McQuoid (McDermott, 86), Barnard.
Unused subs: Fletcher, Cook, O’Kane, Jalal (g/k).
Booked: Francis, Arter, Pugh, Partington, Daniels.
Rovers: fon Williams, Holmes, Gibson, Taylor, Bakayogo, McGurk, Wallace, Palmer, Bell-Baggie (Thompson 89), Jervis (Black, 73), Cassidy.
Unused subs: Harrison, Stockton, Power, Kay, Mooney (g/k).
Attendance: 6,233 (including 351 visiting supporters).
Referee: David Phillips (Sussex).