Attendance: 26, 251
Derby County and Barnsley played out a goalless draw at Pride Park in a game of little quality and even fewer chances. The Rams needed to improve after the midweek defeat to Doncaster and to their credit worked hard and were difficult to break down but they rarely threatened the scoring at the other end. Tomasz Cywka looked lively on his return to the starting line-up but even his efforts couldn`t give Nigel Clough`s side the three points they were desperate for. The young Pole had a couple of efforts that flashed wide from the edge of the box and he put in a number of dangerous low balls across the area which managed to evade a finishing touch from a team-mate. At the other end Paul McShane got to his head to a couple of set pieces but the closest he came was with an effort that glanced the outside of the post and bounced to safety with the sides sharing the spoils at the end of the match.
Nigel Clough made three changes to the starting line-up with Gareth Roberts returning at leftback, allowing John Brayford to move across to rightback, and Stephen Pearson and Tomasz Cywka returning in midfield in place of Ben Davies and Miles Addison with Paul Green reverting to the centre. Steve Davies dropped to the bench to make room for Roberts and there were also places for the other players to miss out alongside Matt Duke who joined on-loan from Hull on Friday.
Tomasz Cywka created the first opening of the match on five minutes but his low ball across the six-yard box evaded Theo Robinson and Stephen Pearson. The former Wigan youngster was looking lively in the early stages and his ball picked out Robinson but the on-loan striker`s touch escaped him and Luke Steele was off his line quickly to gather the loose ball. Both sides were clearly lacking in confidence and were struggling to make an impact going forward with chances few and far between. Paul McShane got his head to a right-wing corner but his looping header drifted wide just before the half-hour mark. Cywka and Paul Green had efforts from outside of the area in the closing stages of the half with neither player troubling Steele and Jamie Ward`s powerful volley was blocked at the expense of a corner in the last real effort of the half.
Ward had a glorious chance to open the scoring only seconds after the break when he was played in by Robinson but with Steele on the floor he managed to put his effort wide of the far post. At the other end McShane was first to a Barnsley corner but his header flicked the outside of the post with Roberts covering on the line just in case. Chances were again at a premium with Shaun Barker and Cywka both unable to get efforts on target from half-chances from set pieces. Paul Green came close with a volley from twenty-five yards but his effort flew high and wide and Jason Shackell got his head to freekick as Barnsley came back but the ball went harmlessly wide with a little over ten minutes to go. Ward hit a firm freekick for The Rams in the closing stages but his effort was straight at Steele and four minutes of additional time couldn`t separate the sides who had to settle for a point each.
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Barker, Ayala, Roberts, Cywka (B Davies 84), Savage (Addison 71), Green, Pearson, Robinson, Ward.
Subs: Duke, Doyle, Porter, S Davies, Bueno
Barnsley: Steele, Shackell, Arismendi, Trippier, Haynes, McShane, Doyle, Harewood (Devaney 66), Mellis (Butterfield 59), O'Connor (Bennett 84), McEveley.
Subs: Preece, Gray, O'Brien, Miller.