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Derby denied as Lawrence and Bennett return

Tom Lawrence returned to the Derby starting XI just over a week after he was charged with drink-driving as the Rams were denied victory late on in a 2-2 draw at Barnsley.

The Wales international and Mason Bennett, who came off the bench for the last few minutes, were charged following an incident in the Allestree area of the city on September 24.

The crash followed a team-building dinner, and Derby – who have lost captain Richard Keogh for more than a year due to a knee injury sustained on the same night – have said there will be a “rigorous internal investigation”.

Both players missed Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Birmingham at Pride Park but were back in the fold at Oakwell, where Aapo Halme gave Barnsley a 13th-minute lead.

Chris Martin’s third goal in as many matches pulled the Rams level after 34 minutes, before Tom Huddlestone netted from the spot in the closing stages of the half.

But Cauley Woodrow popped up with the winner in stoppage time to earn the lowly hosts a valuable point.

The names of Lawrence and Bennett were booed by a section of Derby fans as the teams were read out ahead of kick-off, and the former received similar treatment from some home supporters when in possession during the match.

Barnsley should have opened the scoring in the ninth minute when captain Mike Bahre squared for Woodrow, only for the forward to drag his shot wide of the right-hand post.

The home side did make the breakthrough in the 13th minute, however, when Halme powered a header beyond Kelle Roos from Alex Mowatt’s right-wing free-kick.

After a string of chances for both sides it was Derby who struck next, with Paterson’s pass allowed to roll dangerously across the six-yard box for Martin to apply the finish from close range.

Lawrence was then bundled over by Mads Andersen in the area for a penalty that Huddlestone converted, but the former Tottenham midfielder injured himself in the process and was substituted shortly before half-time.

Bahre had a low drive blocked by Roos two minutes into the second half, before Martyn Waghorn’s free-kick from the right of the penalty area at the other end was tipped around the left-hand post by Brad Collins.

A pitch invader ran onto the field and slid along the turf next to where Lawrence was receiving treatment for a knock midway through the second half, but the intruder was eventually caught by stewards and escorted from the stadium.

Barnsley applied the pressure in the last 10 minutes and it ultimately paid off as Conor Chaplin drilled the ball into a mass of bodies in the area, the resulting goal being credited to Woodrow.