The Under-18s maintained their unbeaten home record this season with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Stevenage on Saturday morning.
The Dons went in front with their first noteworthy chance on goal on 17 minutes. After a 20-yard free-kick from Rasulo, which beat the visiting keeper, rebounded off the crossbar, forward Tshimanga was the quickest to react and he nodded in a header from close range.
Three minutes later, Dove’s side doubled their lead as Tshimanga got on the scoresheet once again. The second-year scholar received a through ball from Rasulo and, after controlling the ball nicely, he turned his marker inside and out and finished from the edge of the box in classy fashion to make it 2-0.
The hosts were given a stern wake-up call just a minute later as Stevenage almost got back into the match. A cross from the right was allowed to go right through the box and was tucked away by a maroon shirt at the far post however he was judged offside so the goal did not stand.
The Dons were still largely dominating proceedings and they had a golden chance to increase their advantage on 36 minutes after a penalty was awarded for a foul inside the box.
Despite Tshimanga being on a hat-trick, number ten Rasulo took the ball and converted the penalty into the left corner of the net, out of the reach of the keeper who went the right way, to make it 3-0 to the Dons.
The visitors came out and upped the tempo at the start of the second half and got themselves a foothold in the game with a goal on 51 minutes.
After running at the hosts back-line, Stevenage’s number 11 unleashed a shot from just outside the box, which whistled into the net out of the reach of Dons keeper Andrew McCorkell.
The momentum was gradually shifting the way of the away side, and as the Dons’ frustration began to grow, captain Gedeon Okito was booked for pulling an opponent’s shirt about 25 yards out.
From the resulting free-kick, the Stevenage player curled his shot round the Dons wall and beyond McCorkell to make it 3-2 and set up a nervy finish at Woughton on the Green.
With the home side under the cosh, Stevenage pressed for a leveller and came especially close on 75 minutes as they hit the crossbar twice in the same move.
After the hosts gave the ball away, a long range shot hit the woodwork from a Boro player. The rebound came out to another maroon shirt however he got underneath the ball which clipped the bar on its way over and to safety.
The Dons, though, held on to claim another victory, their fifth in a row in all competitions.
Director of Youth Dove said at the final whistle: “We had a good three goal lead at half-time and I told the players we needed to focus after the restart and not allow them to control the game.
“We made poor decisions, players turned down simple passes and we made it hard work for ourselves. That is so frustrating for me as a coach because it turned into a difficult half-hour. We got tired at the end so although we got a positive result there is still a lot for the players to learn.”
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): McCorkell; Okito (c), Tingey, Hunt, Tilney; Hadden, Wiltshire (Weston 46); Owusu (Furlong 68), Vaughan (Daffern 75), Rasulo; Tshimanga
Sub not used: Wyant (GK)
Goals: Tshimanga 17, 20; Rasulo 36 (pen)