MARK Travers was the unexpected hero as he saved three penalties to spare Cherries’ blushes against League Two Forest Green Rovers.

After a goalless 90 minutes where the hosts were wasteful at Vitality Stadium, the game went straight to a shoot-out where Cherries triumphed 3-0 with Travers unbeatable between the sticks.

Jordon Ibe missed for the hosts but successful kicks from Joshua King, Dominic Solanke and Philip Billing ensured there would be no cup shock at Vitality Stadium.

Eddie Howe made nine changes from Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City with only Chris Mepham and Callum Wilson retaining their places. Among those to come in were Gavin Kilkenny and Jack Stacey for their competitive Cherries debuts while Andrew Surman made his first start since March following injury and Mark Travers was selected in goal.

Forest Green, who sit third in League Two and defeat Championship outfit Charlton Athletic in the previous round, were on the back foot early on at Vitality Stadium.

Dominic Solanke linked up with Wilson before the England striker fired off target. Harry Wilson then sent a long ball through to Jordon Ibe, whose header was held by former Weymouth loanee Joseph Wollacott in goal.

Harry Wilson was the next Cherries man to fire goalwards, lining up a 25-yard free-kick from almost the exact spot he smashed in against Man City on Sunday, but this time the effort whistled over the crossbar.

It remained one-way traffic for much of the half with Jordon Ibe firing just past the post before being denied by Wollacott.

Energetic Stacey was a constant threat down the right and he shot at goal three times in quick succession, but could not find the breakthrough before the visitors went close to a shock lead.

Captain Farrend Rawson headed on a Dayle Grubb corner towards Mathew Stevens, whose effort was stopped on the line by Travers.

Unable to work Wollacott in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Howe turned to his bench to introduce Joshua King and Ryan Fraser in place of both Wilsons.

And the pair soon combined with the latter crossing for the striker, but he was crowded out as the Football League side held firm.

Cherries looked to have finally broken the resistance on 73 minutes. Stacey got in down the right and lashed across goal with his effort coming back off the inside of the post and somehow rebounding over the crossbar off King from inside the six-yard box.

Howe’s charges turned the screw with Solanke holding off his marker minutes later after connecting with Fraser’s deep cross, but Wollacott got down well to save with his feet.

Sensing another cup upset, Mark Cooper’s Rovers earned a corner with nine minutes to play, which fell for Kitching, whose shot on the spin flashed just wide of the post. And Forest Green had arguably a better opportunity minutes later when Surman’s sloppy touch allowed a three-on-one attack, but a heavy pass saw Mepham recover to clear.

With just six minutes to play, Howe made his last roll of the dice with Philip Billing replacing Kilkenny, and the Dane almost grabbed a winner, connecting with a Fraser corner but he was unable to get any power behind his effort.

Fraser delivered again moments later and his cross was powerfully met by King with Wollacott equal to the header.

Deep into three minutes added time, Taylor Allen looked to curl in a dramatic winner for the visitors, but Travers watched the ball bounce just off target as the game went to penalties.

Cherries took control of the shoot-out from the start in front of the South Stand with King and Solanke netting and Travers twice diving low to tip away efforts from Joseph Mills and Kevin Dawson.

Ibe was then denied but after Travers thwarted James Morton, Billing stepped up to slam in the winning kick.

Cherries: Travers; Stacey, Mepham, Simpson, Rico; H Wilson (King, 61), Kilkenny (Billing, 84), Surman, Ibe; C Wilson (Fraser, 61), Solanke.

Unused subs: Ake, Ofoborh, Dobre, Ramsdale (g/k).

Forest Green: Wollacott; Bernard, Godwin-Malife, Rawson, Kitching, McGinley; Mondal (Mills, 78), Dawson, Morton, Grubb (Adams, h-t); Stevens (Allen, 62).

Unused subs: McCoulsky, Winchester, Collins, Thomas (g/k).

Booked: Kitching.

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 9,657