SECOND-half goals from Ryan Fraser and Marc Pugh helped Cherries survive a Carabao Cup second round scare at Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham.

Down 1-0 at the break to Maikel Kieftenbeld’s close-range strike, Cherries were boosted by Fraser’s simple equaliser less than a minute after the restart.

And Pugh completed the turnaround when he fired in off the bar following good work by Lys Mousset – handing Cherries their first victory of the season.

Boss Eddie Howe plumped for eight changes, with Jermain Defoe making his first start since his summer move from Sunderland, while Under-20 World Cup winner Lewis Cook earned a spot in central midfield.

Birmingham opened the scoring in the 10th minute with the first meaningful attack. Tyrone Mings did well to prevent a cross from reaching Isaac Vassell but from the resultant corner, Jonathan Grounds headed back across goal and the unmarked Kieftenbeld swept home.

Defoe came agonisingly close to an immediate riposte after a brilliant turn in the box but his left-footed strike was blocked by the foot of goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

Jacques Maghoma saw an angled, looping effort drop past the far post and after Defoe had again been denied by Kuszczak, the England international found Pugh, who fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Birmingham so nearly doubled their lead just after the half hour mark. Vassell nipped past Artur Boruc before rolling the ball goalwards from a tight angle, only for Mings to superbly intervene with a desperate backheel.

At the other end, Kuszczak beat away a powerful shot from Lys Mousset and Mings’s bold foray forward in the closing seconds of the half brought a regulation save from the Blues stopper.

Just 52 seconds after the restart, Cherries were level. Fraser bombed through the middle and laid off to Adam Smith, with the full-back’s low centre gleefully tapped home by the Scotland international.

Boruc was then called into action and Kuszczak collected Mousset’s thump before Defoe had a goal disallowed for offside.

Fraser floated a 20-yard free-kick over the bar after Defoe had been fouled, while new Birmingham loan recruit Cohen Bramall skewed wide from distance.

The game had significantly opened up and Cherries were much more of an attacking threat. The Blues defence was mystifyingly absent when Mousset strode forward midway through the second half, his pass finding Pugh, who cut inside and stroked in off the crossbar.

Brad Smith leathered off-target while Kuszczak had to be at his best to tip away an acrobatic effort from Mousset.

Cherries survived a late onslaught from the hosts and will be in the hat for the third-round draw, which is due to be made at 4.15am on Thursday.

It is taking place in Beijing as part of the EFL’s plan to boost the competition’s exposure in Asia.

Cherries: Boruc, A Smith, S Cook, Mings, B Smith, Fraser (Ibe, 82), Gosling, L Cook, Pugh, Mousset (Afobe, 76), Defoe. Unused subs: Simpson, Ake, Hyndman, Mahoney, Ramsdale.