Burton 0-0 Bristol City: Play-off chasing Robins held by Brewers
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/03/18 7:34pm
Struggling Burton and play-off chasers Bristol City ground out a low-quality goalless draw which did nothing to help either side's ambitions going into the last 10 games of the season.
A point for Nigel Clough's side sees them edge to within two points of Championship safety despite not having tasted victory at home since mid-September.
For City it was a chance missed to push themselves back into the thick of the race for promotion as they looked to put their own poor form behind them.
Chances were few and far between in a scrappy first half, though Albion had the better of what either side could muster.
VOTE: EFL Goals of the Month
Watch and vote for the best Sky Bet EFL Goals of the Month for February in the Championship, League One and League Two.
Darren Bent, restored to the side after Tuesday's defeat to Brentford, saw an early header go straight into the arms of Frank Fielding as Burton got on the front foot early on. Strike partner Liam Boyce also went close looping a header over the bar from Tom Flanagan's right-wing delivery.
City, on a run of just two wins in their previous 15 games and winless in nine on the road, struggled to generate any real chances of their own with Jamie Paterson disappointingly lifting a right-foot shot well over the crossbar on 22 minutes, one of their brighter moments of the first period.
Deprived of defenders Aden Flint and Joe Bryan through suspension, City were finding themselves stretched at the back as Burton pressed and it was the returning Nathan Baker who had to be in the right place to awkwardly hack clear a dangerous cross from Lloyd Dyer.
Luke Murphy fired just wide for the hosts and Liam Boyce could only turn Kyle McFadzean's long-range effort into the arms of Fielding as Albion threatened, but their good work was almost undone when Stephen Bywater cleared a long through-ball against the onrushing Marlon Pack. The ball looped back over the keeper and, fortunately for him, over his crossbar too.
The visitors began to look better after the break and both top scorer Bobby Reid and striker Famara Diedhiou failed to profit from a probing cross from left-back Lloyd Kelly in the early stages.
City tried to lift their game with the introduction of Milan Djuric and Lois Diony and it was Djuric who made his presence felt leading the line effectively, but he was ultimately well marshalled by the Burton pairing of skipper McFadzean and Tom Naylor.
Flanagan almost won it for Albion late on with a left-footed effort that just failed to curl enough to beat Fielding and with almost the last effort of the game Josh Brownhill found space on the edge of the box but only fired his effort straight at Bywater.
Nigel Clough: "If we had got the goals that we deserved in the first half then it would have been a different story. We had plenty of intent out there today. We had two up top and had Marvin (Sordell) and Lucas (Akins) wide and they set the tone from the first minute of the game, running at the full-backs, and we made it very uncomfortable for Bristol City in the first half.
"We can't do much more. We are putting balls into the box and apart from somebody just finishing one off - Liam has got too good a connection on his chance and its ended up in Frank Fielding's hands and he was more surprised than anybody."
Lee Johnson: "That was two honest teams out there today. Burton are punching above their weight and probably so are we, so we have to enjoy the Championship. I suppose it was a fair result today. In the first half Burton were the better side and in the second half we were better.
"The pitch wasn't conducive to slick play but it's the same for both teams and I thought in the first half we were poor and looked leggy and didn't have our normal zip. We have done a lot of travelling this week."