Bournemouth sink Swans with five-star first half show to reach last 16 of FA Cup

By Sports Desk January 25, 2024

David Brooks’ classy display was the catalyst for Bournemouth thrashing Swansea 5-0 to become the first team to book their place in the FA Cup fifth round.

Wales international Brooks scored one goal and provided two assists as the Cherries racked up their biggest FA Cup win against a Football League side since beating Bristol Rovers 6-1 in the 1927-28 season.

Both teams made five changes from their weekend line-ups but that did not stop Bournemouth making light work of their Championship visitors to move into the last 16 for only the third time since 1989.

Andoni Iraola’s Premier League side stormed into a 3-0 lead with less than a quarter of an hour gone as Swansea’s defence completely capitulated on the south coast.

The Cherries took the lead in the seventh minute when defender Lloyd Kelly came up from the back to find himself unmarked to hook Brooks’ free-kick into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later Brooks broke free down the right before pulling the ball back for Alex Scott to make it 2-0.

Kyle Naughton hit the post for the visitors before Luis Sinisterra scored Bournemouth’s third goal with a confident finish into the far corner after Swansea goalkeeper Andrew Fisher had passed the ball straight to Scott.

The irrepressible Brooks had to wait until 10 minutes before half-time to get the goal he fully deserved after keeping himself onside to latch onto Dominic Solanke’s slide-rule pass before side-footing past the helpless Fisher.

Top-scorer Solanke, who had already fired wide from another Brooks free-kick, grabbed the home side’s fifth a minute before half-time after more dreadful defending from the visitors.

Sinisterra played in a teasing low cross from the left wing and Solanke was left with the freedom of the penalty area to side-foot his 14th goal of the season from 10 yards out.

Liam Cullen was unlucky not to reduce the deficit in first-half stoppage-time as his shot was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Bournemouth’s stand-in goalkeeper Mark Travers.

It was the first time the Cherries had been 5-0 up at the interval since beating non-league Margate 11-0 in an FA Cup first round tie in 1971.

Iraola rested Solanke for the second half but his replacement Kieffer Moore could have made it 6-0 within seconds of coming on after narrowly failing to get on the end of James Hill’s floated cross.

Moore came close again 15 minutes from time when his effort from midway inside the Swansea penalty area was deflected behind for a corner, while Milos Kerkez also slotted wide as the hosts failed to add to their tally.

The only negative for Bournemouth, already missing several key defenders, was losing defender James Hill to injury after he landed awkwardly midway through the second half.

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