Brave Dawson shrugs off 'war wound'

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The Independent Football

England Under-21 defender Craig Dawson was happy to play through the pain barrier on Monday night after the West Bromwich player defied a nasty head wound to help his side maintain their 100 per cent start to their European Championship qualifying campaign.

Dawson played more than half of the 2-1 Group Eight win in Norway with a Terry Butcher-style bandage after a clash of heads left him bloodied and needing seven stitches.

Head coach Stuart Pearce, who was in the senior England side 22 years ago when Butcher famously played on against Sweden despite bleeding profusely, said afterwards: "He's got great courage – he's a man is Dawson. The rest of the boys love him to bits."

Dawson was forced off the field for almost 10 minutes in Drammen. "My head's a bit sore, but the result was worth it," the 21-year-old said. "I had seven stitches. I went up for the header and I think I caught his boot on the way down, and it split quite easy.

"It's my first war wound for England. It was bleeding quite heavily. I was always going to come back on, definitely. The doc just wanted to stitch it up and get me back on the field."

Dawson also used his head to put England ahead, nodding home in what is fast becoming trademark fashion from Henri Lansbury's corner.

The defender said of his third goal in three qualifiers: "I managed to get a free run, Henri got a great ball in and I just had to go and attack it. It was a great performance, a great result and maintains our good start to the campaign."

Captain Jordan Henderson slotted home England's second goal after seven minutes and the visitors held on after Valon Berisha pulled a goal back, with Norway missing more than once chance to snatch a draw.