Lawrence nets with game’s last kick

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Simon Smed­ley

TOM Lawrence res­cued the most dra­matic of points for the Trac­tor Boys as he pounced with al­most the last kick of the game.

Lawrence charged in to con­vert sub­sti­tute Brett Pitman’s far-post cross as the vis­i­tors snatched a sixth straight Championship draw.

The stun­ning cli­max left Ip­swich boss Mick McCarthy – back at the ground where he made al­most 300 ap­pear­ances as a player be­tween 1977 and 1983 – ad­mit­ting his side were for­tu­nate, to say the least.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever stolen any­thing from here,” McCarthy quipped.

“I was at this club a long time, but I bur­gled a point.

“It is part of the game, you do have to keep on it right un­til the very end.

“We were poor ad­mit­tedly, but the game has to go on un­til the ref­eree blows that fi­nal whis­tle.

“Did we de­serve a point? Did we hell, but I’m more than happy to take it.

“It’s a very good away point for us. Barns­ley are a good side and we knew we’d been in for a dif­fi­cult af­ter­noon.

“The Barns­ley lads will feel as though they’ve been robbed, but for us it’s a de­cent result.”

The Tykes shaded a rather dull open­ing half at Oak­well.

They cre­ated the clearer-cut chances, with Adam Arm­strong seeing a crisp early shot well beaten away by Bar­tosz Bialkowski.

Arm­strong again went close when he headed over in­ex­pli­ca­bly from just four yards after Matty James’ in­tended shot was head­ing wide.

At the other end, Adam Davies pro­duced a su­perb dou­ble stop in the 18th minute, thwart­ing David McGoldrick and Cole Skuse.

The dead­lock was bro­ken just be­fore the hour with a straight-for­ward strike from at­tack­ing mid­fielder Mar­ley Watkins. He raced on to James’ pre­cise through ball be­fore slot­ting his eighth goal of an im­pres­sive cam­paign past a floored Bialkowski.

When McGoldrick flashed a strike high, wide and hand­some with time run­ning out, it was look­ing as though Ip­swich’s game was up.

Adam Ham­mill then came close to dou­bling the Tykes’ lead.

How­ever, up popped Lawrence right at the death to send the noisy trav­el­ling sup­port into rap­tures.

Tykes boss Paul Heck­ing­bot- tom re­mained pos­i­tive de­spite the late loss of two po­ten­tially cru­cial points.

His side have largely im­pressed this sea­son fol­low­ing pro­mo­tion via the play-offs, but the Championship’s top six now ap­pear to be out of reach thanks to yield­ing just two points from their last five games.

Heck­ing­bot­tom said: “We didn’t get what we de­served, ev­ery­body will ac­knowl­edge that. But that’s just what can hap­pen if you don’t kill teams off.

“We had enough chances through­out the 90 min­utes. Ip­swich have hung in there, though, and in the end they grabbed a goal at a bad time for us.

“I can’t crit­i­cise the per­for­mance of the team over­all.

“We pre­pared as well as we could and in terms of what I ex­pect from a per­for­mance, I think we de­liv­ered.

“We should have been out of sight by the time they scored in the 93rd minute.

“We can look back on that neg­a­tively, but we won’t.

“We’ll put in the hard work and go again next week­end.”

PIC­TURES: Ian Lyall/ProS­ports

MAR­LEY AND ME: Mid­fielder Mar­ley Watkins edges Barns­ley in front

LEV­ELLER: Tom Lawrence nets

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