Jamie Ward’s 72nd minute penalty handed the Rams a well-deserved point at the Valley, as Derby fought back from a goal behind to seal a draw in their final game of 2012.
Danny Haynes’ unstoppable 25-yard drive handed the hosts an unlikely lead after 19 minutes, before substitute Ward netted from the penalty spot after defender Michael Morrison was sent off for his second bookable offence for a tackle on John Brayford.
The first notable action of the game saw Will Hughes penalised for a late tackle on Bradley Pritchard in the opening five minutes, which subsequently earned the 17-year-old a yellow card.
However, just moments later Hughes was involved in the thick of the action again, as he picked out Brayford down the right; the full-back delivered a low ball into the area, which was hacked clear by Morrison, who had Nathan Tyson for company.
Then Ben Davies had a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area tipped over by Ben Hamer, before seeing another set-piece drift narrowly wide of goal, as he audaciously bent it goal-wards from near the touchline.
Davies’ set-pieces were certainly causing the home side concern, as his third free-kick inside the first 15 minutes found Tyson, but the former Reading forward’s glancing header flashed wide of goal.
Despite the Rams’ impressive ball retention and opportunities in front of goal in the opening quarter, the Addicks took an unlikely lead with their first real effort at goal, in emphatic fashion.
With 19 minutes gone, Haynes effortlessly skipped past two Derby defenders, before rifling a 25-yard drive into the top corner, ensuring goalkeeper Adam Legzdins
could only watch on, as the ball rocketed into the net.
Unfortunately for the Addicks, that was Haynes’ last noteworthy influence on the game, as the former Ipswich Town striker was withdrawn through injury in the 35th minute.
Haynes’ strike had come at a time where the Rams were controlling proceedings at the Valley, but Clough’s men fought back and had a golden opportunity to level the score-line.
Theo Robinson held off Morrison, and the forward’s following deft touch sent Tyson clean through on goal. The 30-year-old took one touch and slid the ball towards the bottom corner, but the onrushing Hamer stuck out a leg and diverted it away to safety.
Then England under-21 international Hughes sent a 30-yard dipping volley over the crossbar, but it was Chris Powell’s men who finished the first 45 minutes on top. Substitute Wright-Phillips burst down the middle of the pitch, holding off the attentions of Richard Keogh, but he could not get the better of Legzdins, who produced a fine stop, to keep the score at 1-0 going into the interval.
The Addicks began the second half exactly how the finished the first, as Cedric Evina sent a 20-yard effort straight at Legzdins, before a torrent of Charlton attempts on goal followed, including a spectacular volley from Dale Stephens that dropped wide and a cleverly worked free-kick that resulted in Johnnie Jackson forcing Legzdins into a terrific reflex save.
However, a flurry of Derby corners sparked the Rams back into life, and substitute Conor Sammon came close with a flicked header, before Charlton broke clear in a swift counter-attacking move that ended with an unmarked Wright-Phillips, eight-yards out with the goal at his mercy, but the striker inexplicably lifted the ball onto the underside of the crossbar.
Wright-Phillips’ missed opportunity, along with the introduction of Ward proved to be a turning point in the game, as in the 72nd minute, Derby were awarded a penalty.
Davies floated a corner into the penalty area, and as Brayford was about to volley goal-wards, he was brought to the ground by Morrison, who was duly brandished his second yellow card of the game, and sent off.
Northern Ireland international Ward stepped up, and with only his second touch of the game, he sent Hamer the wrong way with a coolly taken spot-kick.
The goal reinvigorated the Rams and had chances to turn the game completely on its head as Hamer was on hand to produce a fine double save to deny firstly Robinson and then Sammon’s header from point blank range.
But even when Hamer was beaten the Rams could not force a decisive winner, as Brayford rose highest to nod Coutts’ corner goal-wards, only for Chris Solly to hack the ball off the line in the 84th minute, and preserve a point.
Derby County: Legzdins; Brayford, Keogh, O’Connor, Roberts; Coutts, Hendrick, Hughes (Ward 68) (Jacobs 83), Davies; Robinson, Tyson (Sammon 65).
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Doyle, Freeman, O’Brien.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer; Solly, Cort, Morrison, Evina; Wilson, Pritchard, Stephens (Dervite 73), Jackson; Haynes (Wright-Phillips 35), Kermorgant (Fuller 85).
Subs Not Used: Sullivan, Kerkar, Hulse, Wagstaff.
Attendance: 17,761 (1,372 Visiting Supporters).