Dawson having piles of fun at Wanderers

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

CRAIG Dawson did not get much time to enjoy his first goal for nearly two years.

Flat out on the floor after sending an early header goalwards against Hull, the on-loan West Brom defender was soon buried by a mass of celebrating Wanderers players.

But after his near-miss against Derby County on Tuesday night, Dawson was probably just happy his name would go into the record books.

It seemed to the naked eye that the England Under-21 international had opened his account for Wanderers at Pride Park before TV replays showed Richard Keogh had actually put through his own net.

“I got a bit of stick for kind of celebrating that one,” admitted Dawson, whose last strike came for Rochdale against Peterborough in League One. “But I was just celebrating that we had scored.

“I didn’t even get a chance to see this one go over the line because I was on the floor. But it was nice to chip in.”

Dawson grabbed a second midway through the second half to settle any nerves with a cheeky back-heel from Marcos Alonso’s drive.

“It’s probably not what you’d expect from a centre-half to finish,” he said. “I tried it first time and it hit the post. It was just bouncing around in the area and it just needed a little nudge to take the ball into the net.”

It seems Dawson can do no wrong for Wanderers, who are unbeaten in four games since his arrival from the Hawthorns.

Dougie Freedman is delighted to see the youngster get among the goals, but believes his presence in the back four has also brought the best out of those around him.

“It wasn’t what he was brought here to do, but I’ll take it,” he said of Dawson’s double.

“What Craig does, to be up front about it, is to bring a confidence to Zat (Knight) and to Adam (Bogdan). All of a sudden you’ve got that little three in there who trust each other.

“I’m not trying to put down other players, it’s just the way he plays.”

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