We tightened our grip on second place and moved just two points behind West Brom in Group A of the Premier League Cup following an emphatic 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
Kevin Betsy was forced to reshuffle his defence following Brooke Norton-Cuffy's loan to Lincoln City, which allowed Alex Kirk to make his first start since returning from injury, with Ben Cottrell also featuring for the first time since August.
We took the lead inside two minutes, Kirk finding Marcelo Flores with a header inside the box after Bournemouth failed to clear Omari Hutchinson's initial free-kick and our midfielder cooly found the bottom corner.
Hutchinson looked in the mood as ever and almost doubled our lead 10 minutes later when he forced Will Dennis into a smart save at the end of a brilliant solo run.
Jack Henry-Francis scored our second shortly after, reacting quickest in the box to poke home from close range as Dennis failed to keep hold of Zak Swanson's powerful low cross.
Reuell Walters replaced Joel Lopez at the break as Betsy experimented further with our defensive setup, but it was his next change, Hutchinson for Amario Cozier-Duberry midway through the second half, that really put the game to bed.
Our young winger made an instant impact, getting himself on the scoresheet just five minutes after coming on, rounding off an excellent team move involving Flores and Mika Biereth with a composed finish into the bottom corner.
Flores completed our rout in the closing stages, applying the finishing touches to yet another well-worked team move, with 16-year-old Cozier-Duberry at the heart of things.
WHAT IT MEANS
We close the gap on West Brom to two points in Group A of the Premier League Cup after five matches.
We face the Baggies in our final group game on Monday, February 14 and will top the group with a win.
We're back in Premier League 2 action on Friday, January 21 when we travel to Derby County.
Kick-off at the Loughborough University Stadium is 7pm (GMT).
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