Ex-skipper Lawton steps up to the breach for Dons

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FORMER Dons’ skipper Craig Lawton will again make himself available for the club’s Championship One game at home to Rochdale Hornets on Sunday.

The 30 year-old forward, forced to quit the professional game early last season due to work commitments, is the player-coach of local Yorkshire Amateur League outfit Toll Bar. But he responded to Dons’ boss Tony Miller’s appeal to help the club out over the next fortnight.

“Tony rung me on Wednesday and explained the situation and said that four of his forwards would miss the next two games because of holidays and that Jamie Bovill was also doubtful for Sunday’s home game against Workington,” said Lawton.

“I agreed to help out and I enjoyed it. I played for the Doncaster District side against the Dons in a pre-season game and I’ve also been playing regularly for Toll Bar since September, so I’m pretty fit - though Sunday’s game was obviously a step up in class.

“Workington were a big side and will be hard to beat up at Derwent Park this season, but we played well and deserved to beat them.

“Injuries in the backs didn’t help and we had a lot of players playing out of position. But the lads really dug in and it was a good performance. Hopefully, I made a contribution after coming off the bench. The lads helped me out and I slotted straight back into it; It was as though I’d not been away.”

Lawton says he was impressed by the Dons, who have won their last five league and cup games: “The team is a lot younger and fitter than the team which started last season,” he said. “There is also a great team spirit and a lot of enthusiasm and they will have a good season if they can steer clear of a lot of injuries.

“I’d love to be back playing on a regular basis but I’m still struggling with work commitments. I’ll play against Rochdale if I’m picked and we’ll take it from there.”