The Under-18s started 2015 with an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon on Saturday morning.
The home side showed two changes from the XI that won 1-0 at Leyton Orient in the Youth Alliance League before Christmas, with Joe Steele and Giorgio Rasulo coming in for Kyran Wiltshire and Callum Brittain.
The Dons dominated the early exchanges and had three great chances to take the lead in the same move three minutes in.
First, Tshimanga’s shot was blocked by the AFC Wimbledon keeper after the forward was through one-on-one before the rebound came out to Ben Tilney whose effort was also blocked. Rasulo then had a chance from close range after the ball fell kindly to him, however, he spooned it over the crossbar.
The home side’s pressure eventually paid off in the eighth minute as they took the lead when a corner from the right was finished smartly on the half volley by Tingey inside the area.
Just five minutes later, the Dons stamped their authority on proceedings by doubling their advantage when a ball from the right hand side found Tshimanga who, from around five yards out, managed to just get enough on his shot to ensure it rolled over the line.
The hosts, though, were made to pay for a lapse in concentration just moments later as AFC Wimbledon reduced the arrears - Egli Kaja, managing to regain his footing in time to finish into the left hand corner of the net.
On 37 minutes, the Dons were given a boost when AFC Wimbledon’s Taylor Roles was dismissed for picking up his second bookable offence, however, they were hit by a sucker punch just before half-time as the visitors made it 2-2 moments before the interval.
Mike Dove’s side continued to dominate in the second half and had a great chance on 52 minutes as Tshimanga found himself in behind the Wimbledon defence. The in-form striker showed great composure to round the visitors’ keeper but, with a couple of blue shirts back on the goal-line, he put his shot over the bar.
AFC Wimbledon then took the lead against the run of play with 15 minutes remaining from a corner which was headed into the bottom right corner of the net by Kaja.
The chances kept coming for the Dons, though, and on 86 minutes they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Tshimanga. He elected to take the spot-kick himself and he finished it into the centre of the goal to cap off a fine week for him individually, as well as ensure share of the spoils for his side.
After the match, Dons Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “I’m very disappointed with a draw because although we started brightly and deserved a two goal lead, we lost concentration and got a bit complacent allowing them to get back in the game.
“We were in the final third a lot of the time but we just couldn’t score, and then we lost concentration again so they could take the lead. I thought it was going to be one of those days because we didn’t have that clinical finish and composure.
“I think we deserved the penalty and, although for them 3-3 would be a good result, for me it was disappointing.”
Starting XI (4-2-1-3): Wyant; Daffern, Tingey, Steele, Okito (c); Weston, Hadden; Rasulo; Vaughan, Tilney, Tshimanga.
Unused subs: McCorkell (GK), Owusu, Palmiero, Furlong, Hunt.
Booked: Okito 29.
Goals: Tingey 8’ Tshimanga 15’, 86’ (pen).