First goals do not often come better, or indeed against more apt opposition, than David Kasumu’s on Tuesday night.
The 19-year-old bent a fine 50th minute strike past keeper Nik Tzanev, capping a brilliant performance in the centre of the park, in the fiery Carabao Cup game against AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Making just his seventh appearance for the club, Kasumu said his strike, which sent Dons into the lead, was a dream come true.
“I took it out my feet and thought ‘why not?!’ Luckily it went in, and I was buzzing. I haven’t really scored many goals, so it’s probably my best one!
“The fans were singing my name, which I appreciated a lot. When I heard it, I tried not to smile and get on with the game. But it was a dream come true.”
Kasumu has been training with the first team for several seasons, but his inclusion on Tuesday night was not a risk, according to manager Paul Tisdale, who admitted he was surprised with how well the 19-year-old performed during pre-season.
DONS RATED: Kasumu caps a fine night with a goal against AFC Wimbledon
“David Kasumu came out of left field,” he said. “He did so well in pre-season, the game suited him today and he’s earned his start.
“And what a brilliant goal – I don’t think he even knew he scored! He looked surprised, but well done to him.
“He was great. There is great competition for places. I didn’t leave Jordan Houghton out for any reason other than wanting David to have a game because he deserved it.
“And with the likes of Alex Gilbey coming back as well, we’ve got real competition.”
READ MORE: Alex Gilbey is ready to make his first team return
And Gilbey, who scored the decisive penalty to see Dons into the second round to take on Southend at Roots Hall, said he was delighted for the youngster to net his first goal for the club.
He said: “I’ve told him to relish it, it’s the best feeling he’s ever had. It was an unbelievable finish so well done to him.
“His performance was brilliant, and he has deserved it after how hard he has been training for the last year. He just keeps getting better and better.
“We can’t be too nice, but you’ve also got to take them under your wing.
“He’s just got to keep it up and you never know what happens. If he keeps performing like that, he’ll keep playing.”