SUBSTITUTE Philip Billing’s late strike ensured Cherries made the perfect start to life without Jason Tindall, with a topsy-turvy win over Birmingham.

Goals from Arnaut Danjuma and Jack Wilshere put the hosts ahead, cancelling out Scott Hogan’s opener following an error from Asmir Begovic.

But defensive issues returned in the second half with Hogan heading the Blues level, before Billing popped up to clinch the 3-2 success.

The victory ended a run of four straight defeats in the league for Cherries and gave caretaker boss Jonathan Woodgate the perfect start to his temporary tenure.

Following the dismissal of Tindall as boss on Wednesday morning, Cherries went into a match without either Tindall or Eddie Howe in the dugout for the first time since October 2012, when caretaker Dennis Rofe led the side to a victory over Leyton Orient in League One.

Woodgate was tasked with the interim role this time, looking to end Cherries’ wretched run of form in the division.

And he made four changes from Tuesday night’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Adam Smith and Jefferson Lerma replaced Chris Mepham, Jack Stacey and Junior Stanislas, who all dropped to the bench. The other switch saw Shane Long handed a debut up front, in place of the injured Dominic Solanke.

It was the Irishman’s first appearance in the Championship since August 2011 with Reading, having spent more than nine years playing in the top flight since.

Cherries looked lively in the early stages, without managing to get any shots away.

And after soaking up the early pressure, Birmingham burst into life.

With 19 minutes on the clock, Lewis Cook was caught dallying in his own penalty area, allowing Jeremie Bela in. The winger was denied at the near post by Begovic, before Steve Cook heroically headed Ivan Sanchez’s rebound off the line.

Blues went close again soon after with Ivan Sunjic denied by a flying Begovic stop.

With the wind in their sails, the visitors broke the deadlock. A low cross from Gary Gardner caused the problems with Begovic failing to grab hold of the loose ball, instead presenting it right at the feet of striker Hogan to slam home from close range.

There was a let-off for Woodgate’s men just moments later as Kristian Pedersen brilliantly volleyed home, but the flag was raised for offside.

Out of nothing, Cherries levelled before the break. Having not had a shot all afternoon, the first one they registered found the net. Jack Wilshere was the creator, wriggling away from two challenging on halfway and bursting forwards before feeding Danjuma. The Dutchman faced up George Friend before brilliantly curling beyond both him and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Danjuma had another chance before the half was out, heading wide after stretching to connect with a Brooks cross.

Cherries also created the first chance after the restart. Danjuma delivered a corner towards Long at the back post, who headed wide of the post.

After a lull in proceedings, Cherries struck again to complete the turnaround. The move began when Lloyd Kelly slid in to win the ball on the edge of his own box, allowing the hosts to break. The ball was eventually worked to Smith on the right, who crossed for Wilshere to superbly loop a header past the rooted Etheridge and into the top corner. It was the former Arsenal man’s second goal since returning to Cherries last month.

The midfielder was involved again before being withdrawn midway through the second half, teeing up Long to strike the crossbar from a narrow angle.

As soon as Wilshere was replaced, Birmingham levelled. Kelly allowed Sanchez to cross in the box, where he found a completely unmarked Hogan, six yards out, to nod home.

But back came Cherries with 12 minutes to play. After winning a free-kick himself on the wing, Danjuma whipped the set piece towards the back post, where Billing did enough to turn it in at the back post.

Aitor Karanka turned to his bench in the closing stages, making three late substitutes, but the visitors could not find a way back into the contest.

Cherries: Begovic; Smith, Carter-Vickers, S Cook, Kelly; L Cook, Lerma; Brooks (Stacey, 85), Wilshere (Billing, 67), Danjuma (Rico, 90); Long.

Unused subs: Mepham, Pearson, Stanislas, Riquelme, Surridge, Dennis (g/k).

Booked: None.

Birmingham: Etheridge; Colin (Valery, 85), Dean, Friend, Pedersen; Gardner, San Jose, Sunjic (Harper, 67); Sanchez (Cosgrove, 89), Bela (Leko, 67), Hogan (Jutkiewicz, 85).

Unused subs: Clarke-Salter, McGree, Toral, Prieto (g/k).

Booked: Friend, Gardner.

Referee: Jeremy Simpson.