Point On The Road
Attendance: 13, 034
Derby County edged ever closer to safety after a goalless draw at Oakwell with a result that left both sides one result away from confirming their Championship status for next season. In a game of few chances Tomasz Cywka came closest to breaking the deadlock in an impressive first start when Luke Steele`s weak clearance reached the on loan youngster and his volley looked to be heading into the net only for Luke Potter to get back and clear off the line at full stretch. The Rams looked solid at the back restricting their hosts to a number of long range efforts after the break that didn`t unduly trouble Stephen Bywater and the draw stretched their unbeaten run to four away from home with three clean sheets in that sequence.
Rob Hulse was handed a recall to the starting line-up and he was partnered by Tomasz Cywka up front for a first start in a Derby shirt with Chris Porter and Stephen Pearson missing out through an ankle injury and suspension respectively. Former Ram Darren Moore was named amongst the substitutes for Barnsley but there was a place upfront for Jon Macken and Nathan Doyle also lined up in midfield to continue the links between the two sides.
Both sides effectively cancelled each other out at the start of the match with chances at a premium and it was a quarter of an hour before a noteworthy effort on goal when Stephen Foster met an Adam Hammill corner but his header looped onto the roof of the net. Filipe Teixeira then played a neat ball in behind Jay McEveley for Hammill to run onto but his effort from the edge of the area could only find the side netting.
Russell Anderson had the first effort on goal for Derby when he met Michael Tonge`s corner but his header was off target and Shaun Barker then met another Tonge corner to force a smart save out of Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal as The Rams looked to take control as the game approached halftime. Rob Hulse tested Steele with another header but his effort lacked power and neither side managed to create a clear cut chance before the break as the sides went in goalless.
Derby came out strongly at the start of the second period and Rob Hulse was first to threaten but he headed straight at Luke Steele when a Tonge delivery into the area found him well placed. Tomasz Cywka came closer still when Luke Steele ran out of his area and his weak clearance fell to the youngster who instantly volleyed back over the keepers head but just as he appeared to have opened the scoring Luke Potter stretched out a leg to divert the ball behind for a corner at full stretch.
The Rams continued on the front foot in terms of possession but Barnsley tightened up at the back again after the spell of pressure to restrict their chances although Nathan Doyle had to be on his toes to clear a corner off the line after it was dropped by Steele. David Martin replaced Steven Davies with just over ten minutes to play and Cywka threatened again in the closing stages chasing down a lost cause and winning back possession before curling an effort at goal but it was a routine save for Steele and the game ended goalless. The result left both sides sitting just below the halfway point in the Championship table within touching distance of safety.