U21s extend unbeaten run to six games with a stalemate in the West Midlands.

U21s extend unbeaten run to six games with a stalemate in the West Midlands.

Derby County’s Under 21s extended their unbeaten run to six matches with a goalless draw at Birmingham City on Tuesday afternoon.

Both sides had chances in an entertaining encounter at Birmingham’s Training Ground, but neither side was able to break the deadlock.


Despite the scoreline, it was end to end action at the Wast Hills Training Ground, and the Rams almost took the lead in the opening three minutes as Kwame Thomas came within inches of getting a touch on Nathan Tyson's low cross.


Whilst 10 minutes later former Swindon Town loanee Jake Jervis smashed a 20-yard free-kick narrowly wide of goal after Valentin Gjokaj was penalised for a foul on Ravel Morrison.


Then Rams midfielders Michael Jacobs and Ben Davies both saw long-range efforts fall the wrong side of the post.


Before the half was up, both sides had an opportunity apiece to open the scoring. The first chance fell to former Reading striker Tyson, who powered past two Birmingham City defenders before firing low and hard towards goal, but his spectacular effort was matched by goalkeeper Colin Doyle's close-range save.


The final chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Blues midfielder Brice Ntambwe, but his vicious 25-yard strike sailed wide of Saul Deeney's far post.


Both teams upped the tempo in the second period, and the home side almost found an elusive breakthrough when Ravel Morrison ghosted past three Rams players before picking out Reece Hales. The Blues' youngster saw his initial strike brilliantly blocked by the lunge of Mark O'Brien, but as the ball dropped kindly for Hales, the midfielder leant back and blazed his effort over from 10-yards.


On 64 minutes the lively Tyson cut inside and watched on as his curling effort dropped agonisingly wide of the far post, before the home side came even closer to breaking the deadlock. Josh Hawker found space on the edge of the penalty area and sent a delicate chip goalwards that rebounded off the back of the crossbar.


With 73 minutes gone, the Rams withdrew central defender O'Brien - who continues to build up match sharpness following the cruciate ligament injury he suffered in December last year.


In the final 10 minutes both sides pressed hard for the winning goal, and the Rams almost found one when Thomas latched onto Tom Naylor's perfectly weighted through ball. But the Academy forward was denied by an excellent reflex stop from Doyle, who preserved a clean sheet and a point for the home side.


Derby County: Deeney (GK); Freeman, Gjokaj, O'Brien (Adams 73), Hoganson; Bennett, Naylor, Davies, Jacobs; Tyson, Thomas.


Subs Not Used: Morch (GK), Berry, Dawkins.