SAM Surridge’s first goal for Cherries gave Arsenal a scare, but it proved in vain as the Gunners edged through 2-1 in tonight’s FA Cup clash at Vitality Stadium.

Seeking to move into round five for just the fifth time in their history, Cherries found themselves two goals behind after 26 minutes following early goals from young English duo Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah.

The Gunners, 13-time winners of the competition, came close to adding a third goal through Nicolas Pepe, but were made to sweat for victory when substitute Surridge turned in with four minutes of stoppage time to play.

Cherries carved out one final opportunity, but Lewis Cook lashed over as Mikel Arteta’s charges progressed to book a fifth-round trip to Portsmouth next month.

Eddie Howe made six changes from last week’s Premier League victory over Brighton. In came Mark Travers, Steve Cook, Jack Simpson, Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman and Dan Gosling with Aaron Ramsdale and Callum Wilson among those dropping to the bench. They were joined by teenage defender Brooklyn Genesini, named in a senior matchday squad for the first time.

Arsenal opted for a strong line-up themselves and got in front in just the fifth minute. Lively forward Gabriel Martinelli teed up Saka, who lashed a fierce left-footed effort high and beyond Travers, despite a touch from the Irishman on its way through.

Cherries weathered the storm for the next quarter of an hour but without threatening themselves as Mikel Arteta’s men moved the ball around nicely, going close when Joe Willock slipped beyond Dan Gosling and Nathan Ake, but was denied by Travers.

And the Gunners doubled their advantage on 26 minutes. In a neat team move, Joe Willock spread the ball out wide for Saka, who fired low across the box when Nketiah arrived to sweep home left-footed. After a VAR check for possible offside of Martinelli in the build-up, the goal stood.

Howe instantly altered his formation with Fraser, who started the game up front, moved out to the left wing with Lewis Cook returning to central midfield.

But the rampant Gunners instantly went in search of a third through Pepe, who broke down the left before lashing into the side netting.

Cherries gave the home supporters some encouragement with a strong end to the half.

Harry Wilson finally tested Emiliano Martinez in the Arsenal net with a volley towards the near post, but the Argentinean got down well to save.

Wilson then lifted a cross in for the onrushing Gosling, who headed over the crossbar as the Gunners held firm went into the break with a healthy two-goal cushion.

Chances were at a premium during the early stages of the second half, until Cherries worked an extra man in attack after Shkodran Mustafi collided with Martinez, but Fraser headed over. Mustafi was stretchered off following the collision.

Midway through the second period, Cherries created their clearest opening of the contest. After Simpson had seen a shot deflected behind, the left-back rose to meet the resulting Fraser corner, but headed his effort narrowly wide of the post.

Howe turned to his bench with 15 minutes to play, switching to a back three with the introduction of Simon Francis in place of Simpson, while Callum Wilson replaced namesake Harry to join Solanke up front.

While Arsenal were comfortable, they rarely looked like adding to their tally with Gosling at the other end seeing an effort deflected just over the crossbar.

Striker Sam Surridge was thrown on for the final few minutes and made a quick impact, latching onto Francis’s ball into the box before calmly finishing to set up a grandstand finish.

Cherries created one final opportunity when the ball fell to Lewis Cook on the edge of the box, but he fired over the bar as the Gunners claimed victory.

Cherries: Travers; A Smith, S Cook, Ake, Simpson (Francis, 76); H Wilson (C Wilson, 76), Surman, Gosling, L Cook; Fraser, Solanke (Surridge, 89).

Unused subs: Genesini, Kilkenny, Dobre, Ramsdale (g/k).

Booked: H Wilson, Surridge.

Arsenal: Martinez; Bellerin, Mustafi (Holding, 62), Papastathopoulos, Saka; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Pepe (Ceballos, 69), Willock (Maitland-Niles, 90+2), Martinelli; Nketiah.

Unused subs: Torreira, Ozil, Lacazette, Leno (g/k).

Booked: Xhaka.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.