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Monday 14 Aug 2023
Player Watch: Dion Charles nets twice for Bolton

Striker Dion Charles scored his first goals of the new season after netting a brace in Bolton Wanderers comfortable 3-0 victory at Cheltenham Town in League One at the weekend.

The 27-year-old’s two first-half strikes helped the Trotters maintain their 100% start to the new campaign and following the game he stated he wants to better his 21 goal tally of last season.  



“I’m happy with the two goals,” Charles told the club's website. “I’ve got a target for the season. I’ve started better than I did last year, so hopefully that continues.

“I always want to go one better, so if I can score 25 this term then I’ll be happy. It wasn’t the first season I’ve scored 20, so hopefully I can do it back-to-back.”

Also getting off the mark this season was Charles’ fellow international striker Conor Washington who came off the substitute’s bench to score his first goal for Derby County in their 3-0 success at Burton Albion.

Washington, who joined the Rams on a two-year deal from Rotherham United over the summer, will now be hoping for his first League start of the campaign when County host Oxford United on Tuesday evening.

Other Northern Ireland players on the scoresheet were former under-21 international Jamie Reid for Stevenage at home to Shrewsbury Town and on-loan defender Kyle McClelland who scored the winner for Queen of the South at Edinburgh City only to red carded a minute later.

Meanwhile in the Championship, Paul Smyth provided an assist for QPR’s opening goal in their 2-1 victory at Cardiff City while Shea Charles came on as a substitute in Southampton’s thrilling 4-4 draw with Norwich City at St Mary’s Stadium.

Trai Hume returned to the Sunderland side after suspension to line up alongside Daniel Ballard as the Black Cats fell to back-to-back defeats following a 2-1 reverse at Preston North End who had Ali McCann in their starting line-up.

“We just have to keep working hard and for sure we’ll start picking up results if we keep working as we are,” Ballard said after their defeat at Deepdale. 

“It's probably a little bit harder at the start of the season but there are always going to be periods in a season when things go against you.”

Elsewhere midfielder Ciaran McGuckin made his Championship debut for Rotherham United when he was used as a substitute in the closing stages of the Millers' 2-2 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers. 

Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell continued to clock valuable game time as Aarhus drew at home to Silkeborg and Conor Hazard kept his first clean sheet of the season as Plymouth held Watford to a scoreless draw at Vicarage Road.

The Under-18 Premier League commenced over the weekend and former Dungannon Swifts starlet Ryan Donnelly made an instant impact clocking up an assist on his debut for Leicester City with under-19 international Reece Evans grabbing the winner in a 2-1 success at Norwich City.

Finally, there were assists for Gavin Whyte as Portsmouth picked up three points at Leyton Orient and also for Caolan Boyd-Munce and Conor McMenamin as St Mirren made it two wins on the bounce with victory at Dundee.