Dawson's penalty gave England Under-21s the upper hand heading into the second leg of their Euro 2013 play-off clash with Serbia.
The West Brom defender's fifth goal in nine appearances for the Young Lions secured a 1-0 win in a game Stuart Pearce's side dominated for the most part at Carrow Road.
"I think you realise and I realise we created enough opportunities to be more than one goal in front in this tie," coach Stuart Pearce said.
"I'm pleased to have kept a clean sheet and won the game that is for sure but I'm a little bit disappointed that we haven't been a touch more clinical in front of goal.
"Tonight has demonstrated to me the fact we can create chances away from home, we will have to take them because we might have to score on the road to go through in the tie.
"But Serbia have got to come out and play against us so it is all to play for as we thought it would be."