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Report: Cambridge United 1-4 Dons

30 September 2014

MK Dons opened their Final Third Development League Cup campaign with a 4-1 win at Cambridge United.

Forwards Tom Hitchcock and Kabongo Tshimanga put the men from MK1 2-0 up before the hosts pulled one back from a free-kick.

A stylish penalty from Mark Randall extended the Dons' lead prior to Tshimanga grabbing his second of the afternoon - the damage all being done in the first half.

David Oldfield named a strong starting line-up for the clash, one which included the Dons' newest recruit Carl Baker. The former Coventry City man was making his first appearance for the Club, having signed too late to feature against Bristol City on the weekend.

The Dons made a bright start and they went close to opening the scoring just four minutes in but Samir Carruthers' right-footed shot was saved.

They did, though, break the deadlock just 60 seconds later when Hitchcock, playing just behind the striker, raced onto Ben Tilney’s through-ball and confidently slotted past the U's keeper.

Both Randall and Giorgio Rasulo then went close for the Dons, before second-year scholar Tshimanga doubled the advantage with a fierce strike into the near post from the corner of the box in the 22nd minute.

Oldfield's side were looking strong and, even though Cambridge pulled a goal back from a free-kick, the Dons' two-touch football was proving too much for their hosts to handle.

In the 42nd minute, Randall restored the two-goal cushion from the penalty spot after Tshimanga was bundled over inside six-yard box. The midfielder stepped up confidently and fooled his opponent with a cheeky chipped finish from 12 yards.

Randall then turned provider to set up Tshimanga for his second of the afternoon - this one a cool, placed finish into the bottom corner to cap off an excellent first 45 minutes from the Dons.

After the break, the hosts were handed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit but they failed to convert a penalty following an apparent foul by Tom Flanagan.

The game's tempo slowed dramatically after that, although keeper Ian McLoughlin was still called into action on several occasions, each time coming out on top to keep the score at 4-1.

Rasulo and Carruthers also had half-chances to extend the lead before the end, as the Dons saw out the victory in relatively comfortable fashion.

Starting XI: McLoughlin; Okito, Flanagan (Daffern 79), Tingey, Tilney; Randall (Weston 79), Baker (Vaughan 61); Carruthers, Hitchcock, Rasulo; Tshimanga.

Unused sub: McCorkell.

Goals: Hitchcock 5, Tshimanga 22, 45, Randall (pen) 42

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