Dawson struck the winner from spot.
Pearce said: "As for Craig, he's not doing bad to be fair. He's a real threat from set plays and his penalty-taking is pretty good - as you can imagine, we practice a fair bit and statistically he's top of the pile, and that one may put him even further up the pile.
"So credit to him but I think he's deserved that on his general play and how well he's done for us during this campaign so far.
"He's a good penalty taker, a solid character and it's been difficult for him. He's not played a great deal of club football and he's been on the bench at West Brom for certainly all of this season and long parts of last season. So every time he comes here and gets 90 minutes for his development is ideal."