DERBY have been handed a huge play-off boost after the FA ruled winger Tom Lawrence will not be charged with diving.
Lawrence seemed certain to get a two-match simulation ban for “deceiving a match official” to earn his side their killer third goal in the 3-1 win over West Brom on Sunday.
The Welsh winger infuriated West Brom as he won the penalty, converted by Harry Wilson, which confirmed the Rams’ place in the Championship top six.
Lawrence surged into the box but appeared to fall in the vicinity of Baggies skipper Kyle Bartley.
Ref Tim Robinson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot but West Brom caretaker boss James Shan was adamant that there had been no contact.
Video evidence appeared to validate Shan’s view, with Lawrence seemingly facing an automatic ban which would have ruled him out of both legs of the play-off semi-final against Leeds.
But Lawrence has escaped action after a review of the incident and is now free to play in both games.
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Leeds are without striker Patrick Bamford for the first leg on Saturday after he was handed a ban for simulation in the draw with Aston Villa at Elland Road which resulted in a red card for Anwar El Ghazi.
Derby head into the play-offs as the in-form team in the division having won four and drawn two out of their last six matches.
Leeds on the other hand are struggling and have failed to win their last four including a 3-2 defeat against rock-bottom Ipswich.