Derby County recorded their first away point of the Sky Bet Championship season with a hard-fought goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Wednesday were perhaps the better side in a first-half that saw them create a wealth of chances, but a combination of poor shooting and good defending meant they were unable to make their dominance count.
The hosts came closest through former Derby striker, Chris Maguire, who rattled the bar with a free-kick from just outside the area and a Tom Lees header that was cleared off the line.
Derby had chances of their own however, with Jeff Hendrick volleying just wide early on and Chris Martin hitting the side netting from an acute angle.
The second-half was a much more even affair as Derby took better care of the ball than they had in the opening period, frustrating the home side and limiting them to shots from range.
And they had the best chance of the game with around fifteen minutes to go when substitute Johnny Russell was put through on goal, but Kieren Westwood did well to narrow the angle and make a smart save
The first chance of the game fell to Derby as Hendrick tried his luck from 25-yards in the second minute, but he scooped his effort over the bar.
Four minutes later, Simon Dawkins called Westwood into action for the first time as a poor clearance fell to him inside the area, but his right-foot shot was straight at the Owls’ 'keeper.
It was then Lee Grant’s turn to make his first save of the match, as a deflected Kieran Lee shot almost wrong-footed him, but the shot-stopper reacted quickly to get a hand to the ball and keep it out.
Derby then came close to notching the opening goal when a Jamie Ward free-kick was headed clear but only far as Hendrick, who volleyed just wide of Westwood’s right hand-post.
Moments later, the Owls had the best chance of the half and Atdhe Niuhu probably should have scored, but his effort from close range was straight at Grant who saved easily.
Derby went straight down the other end as a long ball over the top found Martin, but the Owls’ defence forced him wide and his shot hit the side netting from a tight angle.
The Owls continued to pose the biggest threat and former Ram Maguire must have thought his 23rd minute free-kick was the opener, but it smashed against the bar and out for a goal kick.
Moments later, Derby pushed forward at the opposite end, and when Ward picked up the ball, he dribbled his way past his man and took aim, but his effort was straight down the throat of Westwood.
A mix-up in Derby’s midfield in the 31st minute gifted the ball to Stevie May and he bore down on Derby’s goal before rolling his shot just wide of the far post.
Wednesday then had another great chance to open the scoring when Tom Lees was picked out from a corner, but his header was cleared off the line by Dawkins with the first-half ending scoreless.
Three minutes after the restart Derby broke quickly from a Wednesday corner with Hendrick picking out Craig Forsyth on the edge of the area, but the left-back’s right foot shot was blocked.
In the 57th minute, Maguire again looked to put one past his old team-mates when he hit a well-struck shot from 25-yards, but Grant got down quickly and turned the ball wide.
65th minute substitute, Johnny Russell, had only been on the pitch four minutes when a clever pass from Bryson put him through, but his left foot shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.
Less than five minutes later, Wednesday went up the other end and a long ball to Gary Madine was chested into the path of Sam Hutchison, but his half-volley was well over.
Derby then had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when Russell was sent clear through on goal once more, but Westwood rushed out to meet him and made a good save, one-on-one.
Derby finished the second-half brightly, but were unable to carve out a significant chance, and the teams walked off the pitch at full-time with a point apiece.
Derby County: Grant (GK), Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth, Hughes (Mascarell 60’), Bryson, Hendrick, Dawkins (Russell 65’), Ward (Best 61’), Martin.
Subs not used: Roos (GK), L Naylor, Eustace, Whitbread.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood (GK), Mattock, Hutchinson, Loovens, May, Palmer, Nuhiu (Madine 71’), Maguire, Lees, Maghoma, Lee (Coke 41’).
Subs not used: Kirland (GK), Semedo, McCabe, Helan, Zayatte.
Attendance: 25, 186