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Monday 13 Feb 2023
NI Player Watch | Dion Charles hits nine-minute hat-trick

Dion Charles hit a nine-minute hat-trick as Bolton Wanderers celebrated their 5,000th league game with an emphatic 5-0 victory at Peterborough United at the weekend.

The 27-year-old’s treble, which was the first by a Bolton Wanderers player since 2014, took his tally for the campaign to an impressive 17, which is just three short of his best ever season in front of goal which was back in 2020/21 with Accrington Stanley. 

“It’s brilliant to get my first hat-trick for the club on such a special day for the club,” said Charles, who has now scored six in his last six outings for the Trotters.   

“The gaffer said to us before the game ‘go and put your stamp on the history of this club’ and I think everyone involved today has done that.

“I’ll get the plaudits for getting a hat-trick, but I thought everyone played their part today.” 

Missing from the Bolton line-up on Saturday was loanee Conor Bradley who was serving a suspension, however, former Derry City defender Eoin Toal continues to impress after playing his 16th game on the bounce for the League One side. 

Meanwhile in Scotland, Kyle Vassell got off the mark for Kilmarnock when he hit the only goal of the game in their Scottish Cup tie at Dundee United while former international Billy Mckay hit a brace in Inverness’s 3-0 win at Livingston to take his total for the season to 14. 

With Jonny Evans still out injured, left-back Jamal Lewis was the only Northern Ireland player to feature in the Premier League over the weekend when he was an unused substitute for Newcastle United as they were held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. 

In the Championship, Paddy McNair started for Middlesbrough who chalked up a third successive win following their 3-1 success at Cardiff City while there were also starts for Ali McCann (Preston NE), Trai Hume and Daniel Ballard (both Sunderland), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City) and Millwall midfielder George Saville.

Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s run of three successive games came to end when he was named as a substitute in Burnley’s 3-0 win at home to Preston though Luke Southwood kept his eleventh clean sheet of the season as Cheltenham Town drew 0-0 at home to Accrington Stanley. 

In the Danske Bank Premiership, substitute Conor McMenamin scored a spectacular goal for Glentoran in their 2-2 draw at Coleraine and Kyle Lafferty made his debut for Linfield in their narrow 1-0 win over title rivals Cliftonville to move to within a point of the Reds and top of the table Larne. 

In the U18 Premier League, Callum Marshall took his tally for the season to 14 for West Ham United who fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea while winger Kieron Morrison recorded his first goal of the campaign as Liverpool U18’s drew 3-3 at home to Derby County. 

Elsewhere, striker Omari Kellyman found the net in his first start for Aston Villa’s U21 side and Charlie Lindsay notched his ninth of the season for Rangers ‘B’ team in their 2-1 Lowland League victory over Cowdenbeath. 

Finally in the Women’s Scottish Cup, Megan Bell was part of the Rangers squad that progressed to the last eight of the competition following their 13-0 rout of Rossvale.