Benik Afobe has enjoyed some memorable moments in his fledgling career to date- equalling Michael Owen’s goalscoring record for England U16s, playing for Reading as they were promoted to the Premier League, training with the likes of Ronaldinho and the Brazil national team.
Tonight, however, he played a significant part in a game that may well eclipse all of those heights. The striker may have counted himself a little unfortunate to begin the Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United on the bench, but he certainly made the most of his opportunity after being introduced in the 68th minute as he scored two well-taken goals in an incredible 4-0 victory for his loan side MK Dons.
Afobe, who has endured terrible luck with injuries in recent seasons, found the net just two minutes after coming on and then added to his tally shortly afterwards, demonstrating tremendous perseverance to shrug off the United defence’s attempts to stop him.
For a player who is in his sixth loan spell away from the club, it was hugely satisfying to see him finally playing with confidence. He is perhaps capable of playing above League One level, but, for now, he is certainly enjoying himself and has four goals already this season.
Afobe will be hoping for another game against Premier League opposition in the next round, but fellow Arsenal loanee Jon Toral’s Brentford side will not be involved any further after they lost 1-0 to Fulham. It was still a significant night for Toral, however, as the midfielder made his professional debut and played 63 minutes before being substituted.
Austin Lipman, meanwhile, found the net again yesterday as Boreham Wood beat Sutton United 3-1. Lipman came on as a substitute with 14 minutes remaining and scored in stoppage time after he eluded two defenders before slotting home comfortably.