The R’s took the lead in the first half through former Monaco and Sevilla front man Javier Chevanton, but strikes from McEvoy and Dawkins either side of half-time turned the match on its head.
However, a handball decision against substitute Dominic Ball 20 minutes into the second period allowed the visitors a route back into the game from the penalty spot – and they could have gone on to win it in the closing stages, as we finished the match with 10 men following an injury sustained by Giancarlo Gallifuoco.
As both sides looked to impose themselves on the game in the opening stages, the first real chance fell to Dawkins, as he fired wide from McEvoy’s right-wing cross in the sixth minute.
Chevanton fired over the top at the other end, but Laurence Vigouroux’s goal kick went straight back to the visitors in midfield, who in turn set up Chevanton for a second bite of the cherry, with Vigouroux making a good stop low to his left.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute when a well-executed ball out of the defence by Jamie Sendles-White found Chevanton, who dummied keeper Vigouroux and dinked the ball into the net.
Cameron Lancaster did well to charge down a clearance by R’s keeper Aaron Lennox, before McEvoy slid home our equaliser in the 19th minute. He fired beyond the advancing keeper after Dawkins brought Vigouroux’s up-and-under kick under control in the centre circle and set him free down the right channel.
Rangers were unlucky not to re-take the lead when Michael Petrasso pulled a shot wide, while Chevanton clipped the ball over Vigouroux two minutes later, only to see it rebound off the far post.
We saw a couple of chances go begging before the half was out, but an injury to McEvoy in the opening 90 seconds of the second period set the tone for a stuttering latter half.
Chevanton whipped a free kick the wrong side of the upright from 20 yards out after Hogan Ephraim’s shirt was tugged back by a defender, while our forwards found Rangers centre-half Sendles-White in good form at the other end.
We took the lead in the 54th minute, as Dawkins’ shot found its way inside the far post after Lennox had blocked an initial effort from Darren McQueen.
Vigouroux tipped a shot around the post for a corner kick just after the hour mark, before the R’s got the chance to restore parity from the spot. The assistant referee adjudged Ball to have handled when competing with Chevanton for a looping cross into the box. Vigouroux dived the wrong way as the spot kick was despatched with 65 minutes on the watch, and we struggled thereafter to fully re-establish ourselves in the game.
The R’s enjoyed a sustained period of pressure in the closing stages, with Vigouroux forced into a low save, while Alex McQueen was called into action to block a shot from Samba Diakite at the expense of a corner.
Gallifuoco had to depart in the closing minutes through injury after being sandwiched between two players, but with all our outfield substitutes already on the pitch, we played out the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Both sides had a good chance to win it in the dying moments – Rangers substitute Ben Pattie’s point-blank range header was saved by Vigouroux, before Darren McQueen tried to finish off a fluid four-man move from inside the area, only to be denied by Lennox with an impressive block.
Spurs XI: Vigouroux, A McQueen, Stewart (Ward 57), Gallifuoco, Veljkovic (Ball 45), McEneff, McEvoy (Lameiras 47), Bentaleb, Lancaster, Dawkins, D McQueen. Sub not used: Miles.