Leyton Orient 0 West Bromwich Albion 3
West Bromwich Albion cruised into the second round of the Carling Cup after a heart-warming father-and-son story at Brisbane Road.
Stuart Nicholson's inaugural goal for the club prompted a jubilant hug in the stand with his father, Ian, which earned the 20-year-old a caution.
A delicious volley from Darren Carter and a cool finish from Jonathan Greening ensured Albion swatted aside Leyton Orient.
Newcomers staked their claim to be involved on a regular basis, none more so than the impressive Kevin Phillips.
Eyebrows were raised when Bryan Robson, the Albion manager, paid #700,000 for the 33-year-old on Tuesday but that will prove to be chickenfeed if he continues in this vein.
Nicholson also looked like a bona fide first-team player while Carter, Richard Chaplow and debutant Paul McShane all enhanced their respective causes.
"A lot of the lads did well tonight and there is healthy competition within the squad now," Robson said.
"I was pleased for Stuart scoring his first goal but I was especially pleased with the way he played after the break. His movement was good and brought midfielders into play and he did very well.
"Kevin Phillips also looked like a class act as he keeps it simple and doesn't complicate his game. That is why he has played at the highest level and why I signed him immediately when the chance came up out of the blue."
As expected, Robson made six changes to the side that beat Colchester United in the Coca-Cola Championship last Saturday.
One of the newcomers, Phillips, showed early glimpses of his undeniable pedigree with some smart play that threatened to unlock the home defence.
His clever movement and deft touches were particularly prominent during the early exchanges as Albion were in the ascendancy.
Yet it was the hosts who came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock after Pasqual Zuberbuhler's dreadful clearance presented Jabo Ibehre with a golden opportunity. The goalkeeper's woeful kick landed at Ibehre's feet 40
yards from goal and his raking shot whistled inches wide to save Zuberbuhler further embarrassment.
Hitherto unemployed, Zuberbuhler was indebted to Ronnie Wallwork after he spilled Clayton Fortune's header but the midfielder despatched the ball to safety from the goalline.
The pendulum swung Albion's way again, though, after a touch of class from Phillips sent Chaplow racing free of the hosts' back line. Goalkeeper Glyn Garner could only parry his shot to the feet of Nicholson, who finished with aplomb.
He proceeded to leap over the hoardings and celebrate with his father in the front row of Orient's antiquated main stand. This show of parental affection earned the son a caution from Kevin Wright, who played the part of killjoy to perfection.
Orient attacked Albion with renewed vigour at the start of the second half and Zuberbuhler had to be vigilant to preserve his clean sheet.
Mindful of the forthcoming assignment at Sunderland, Robson was understandably reluctant to introduce the likes of Nigel Quashie, John Hartson et al, despite intense pressure.
His policy was vindicated when Carter scored with a stunning volley 19 minutes from time.
Greening weaved his magic on the right wing and flipped a cross to the far post where Carter executed a volley with supreme skill.
It positively thundered into the net via the underside of the bar and usurped his wonderful strike against Arsenal last season.
Even home supporters applauded politely after initially being stunned into silence and five minutes later they started to leave the Matchroom Stadium in their droves.
A neat passing move ended with Greening finding space in the penalty area and his clinical low drive squirmed beneath Garner and nestled in the corner of the net to leave Albion in cruise control.
This was exactly the rigorous test Robson reuqiered for his peripheral players and he will have a pleasant selection problem before Monday's match at Sunderland.