Thomas-Asante hopes he has made an impression

Brandon Thomas-Asante opened the scoring
Brandon Thomas-Asante opened the scoring

Brandon Thomas-Asante hopes his goal against Oxford United has given boss Robbie Neilson something to think about.

The 18-year-old scored his first goal of the season after just nine minutes at the Kassam Stadium, and sparked a real ding-dong battle which ended 4-3 to the visitors.
And with an overall impressive display, drawing praise from his manager, Thomas-Asante, who has only made four appearances this season, hopes he has done enough to get into Robbie Neilson's future plans.

He said: "I can never call it myself, I can only do what I can on the pitch, but I hope so! If I keep scoring whenever I get on the pitch, in whatever competition it's in, hopefully it puts the point out there. You can always make a little signal with your performances and hopefully I have done that.

"My body is in bits but it was great to be back out there. Obviously, with more games you get sharper but it was enjoyable and I had to push through."

His goal almost came straight from the training ground. Played the ball short from Ed Upson's corner, Thomas-Asante was able to turn in the six yard box and fire Dons into the lead.

He said: "We had a little talk about what to do from corners, we tried it and they didn't pick me up. It was good to get on the scoresheet nice and early.

"It was end-to-end stuff. Eventually we got control of it and started to dictate the game ourselves which was necessary. The first half was so action packed, maybe everyone was a bit knackered in the second half!"

And with Dons finishing top of the group, they have a home draw in the second round, which is drawn on Friday. And though fewer than 1,200 fans were in the stadium to watch the thriller, Thomas-Asante believes the competition is very important for young players like him to make a mark.

"For players like me, it's a hugely important competition," he added. "In games like this you get a chance to show what you can do and hopefully do it in other competitions too, so it's very important for young players like me."