Irish goalkeeper Mark Travers was the hero for Bournemouth as they defeated Forest Green on penalties to advance to the next round of the Carabao Cup.
Bournemouth dominated most of the game against their League Two opponents but couldn’t find the breakthrough required in the normal time.
Penalties were needed to separate the two sides and it was Travers who emerged as the hero as he first saved from Joseph Mills before guessing the same way and stopping Kevin Dawson’s effort next.
Travers then completed his hat-trick and his kept his sheet clean by saving from James Morton. Phillip Billing slotted home the final penalty for Bournemouth to send them into the third round of the competition.
The strong performance will be a massive boost for Travers who had not featured in any of The Cherries’ first three Premier League games losing the place he had won towards the end of last season to Aaron Ramsdale.
The 20-year-old will also be hoping it helps him make Mick McCarthy’s final 23-man Irish squad which is expected to be announced tomorrow morning.
The game was also significant for another Irish youngster with midfielder Gavin Kilkenny being handed his first competitive start for Bournemouth.
Kilkenny, who was also included in the Irish U21 squad for the first time on Wednesday, couldn’t help his side find a goal in the 83 minutes he featured in but still looked lively throughout the game.
Both he and Travers will be hoping to feature for the respective Irish teams ahead of the international break next week.