A hat-trick from Kabongo Tshimanga helped the Under-18s to an emphatic 5-1 victory over Northampton Town at Woughton-on-the-Green on Saturday.
The Dons got off to the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty just five minutes in. Tshimanga was hauled to the floor inside the box and, after picking himself, up the forward opted to take the penalty. He opted for a deliberately hesitant run-up and after seeing the keeper commit himself to the right, Tshimanga stroked the ball into the left corner to give the hosts the lead.
The Dons were dominating play in the early stages and continued to cause the Cobblers problems, as the dangerous Tshimanga had a close range effort blocked.
On 33 minutes, the hosts made their advantage pay after good play down the left saw the ball find left wing back Ben Tilney. He controlled the ball before unleashing a great shot into the corner of the goal from a very tight angle to make it 2-0.
Things got even better for the Dons just four minutes before the break as they scored a third goal. The ball was played through to Tshimanga and, after beating the defender and finding himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, he finished in classy and composed style across goal into the left hand side of the net to complete an almost perfect half of football for the home side.
The second half started in equally good style as the Dons made it 4-0 less than a minute after the restart. A long ball forward found Laurence Vaughan who ran at the Cobblers back-line, before unleashing a great shot from the edge of the box which nestled into the right corner.
The Dons made it 5-0 on 52 minutes as the Northampton defence was again caught out by a long ball forward. The Cobblers keeper misjudged the flight of the pass allowing Tshimanga to tuck it away and complete his hat-trick.
The action continued thick and fast as just four minutes later the visitors pulled a goal back in somewhat bizarre circumstances.
A ball forward found the visitors number ten who found himself through one-on-one with Dons keeper Andrew McCorkell, who had largely been a spectator in the match so far. After what resembled a wrestling match between the pair just inside the box, the Cobblers player rolled the ball into the goal. The referee allowed the goal to stand and the side from Northamptonshire got on the scoresheet.
As fatigue began to creep in later on in the match, chances were at more of a premium. The best fell to Dons left-back Adam Hunt with ten minutes remaining as he hit a free-kick just wide of the right post from around 20 yards out.
Overall, it was an impressive and commanding performance from the Dons who thoroughly deserving their opening win of the season.
MK Dons (3-4-1-2): McCorkell; Daffern, Hunt, Jackson; Weston, Wiltshire, Okito (c) (Owusu 23), Tilney; Hadden; Vaughan, Tshimanga.
Subs not used: Turner, Brittain, Furlong, Osei-Bowsu.
Goals: Tshimanga 5 pen, 41, 52, Tilney 33, Vaughan 46.