Saturday 20 January 2018 21:46, UK
Derby's Cameron Jerome was denied a late penalty on his debut as the Rams were held to a goalless draw by Bristol City.
Johnny Russell had the best chance of the first half when he smashed a free-kick against the crossbar with Frank Fielding beaten.
The hosts' influence grew as the game wore on, but they were denied a penalty in the closing minutes of the game when Jerome was fouled by defender Aden Flint, with the collision resulting in a booking from referee Darren England for the former Norwich striker.
The result at Pride Park sees Bristol City move up to fourth, while Gary Rowett's men add another vital point to their tally as they continue in their quest for automatic promotion.
Derby: Carson (5), Wisdom (6), Keogh (6), Davies (6), Forsyth (5), Huddlestone (6), Thorne (5), Russell (7), Vydra (6), Lawrence (7), Nugent (6)
Subs: Winnall (5), Weimann (5), Jerome (5)
Bristol City: Fielding (6), Wright (7), Flint (6), Baker (5), Magnusson (6), Brownhill (7), Pack (6), Smith (5), Bryan (6), Paterson (6), Reid (7)
Subs: Steele (7), Diédhiou (6)
Man of the match: Bobby Reid
Looking to snap a five-game losing streak, the Robins started on the front foot and went close through Jamie Paterson and Josh Brownhill.
Almost immediately after those two chances, the game's momentum switched in favour of the hosts and with 30 minutes gone they stated their intent when Matej Vydra's low free-kick was smartly turned behind by Fielding.
Minutes later, Bailey Wright barged Tom Lawrence to the floor yards from the area as the Wales international led a Derby attack and Russell went close when he thundered the resulting free-kick against the crossbar.
Luke Steele replaced Fielding in goal at the break and he was called into action on two occasions minutes after the hour mark; first displaying expert reactions to tip Lawrence's effort over the bar, before pushing a Vydra shot wide.
There was a solitary change for Derby from the side that beat Birmingham 3-0 last weekend, as David Nugent replaced Sam Winnall in attack.
Lee Johnson made one change of his own for the clash as Hordur Magnusson replaced Liam Walsh. Meanwhile, Bailey Wright passed a late fitness test and Famara Diedhou returned to the Robins' squad for the first time since October.
In the final minutes, substitute Jerome went down under a challenge from Flint and though he was immediately booked for diving, replays suggested there was contact.
In a tense conclusion, the Rams' substitutes Andreas Weimann and Sam Winnall attempted to link up to force a late winner, but it was Korey Smith who had the final opportunity in stoppage time when he drove wide following Famara Diedhiou's square pass, but the game ended goalless.
Though he had precious few chances in the game on Friday night, Reid turned in another of his typically hard-working performances at Pride Park on Friday night. Famara Diedhiou's half-time introduction allowed him more chances to roam free in the Robins' attack and he laid on several chances for his team-mates to score.
Gary Rowett: "It was probably the most obvious penalty you'll see around. I've seen it again three or four times and it was an absolute stonewall penalty and the ref had a big decision to make. To be fair, I spoke to him and he said he didn't think it was a penalty but...that's the way it goes.
"During the game, for big spells, I thought we were by far the better team and I thought we created by far the better chances, but we just couldn't quite finish one of those."
Lee Johnson: "I thought it was a bit cagey in the first half and I think both sides showed a bit too much respect for each other. But in the second half, it opened up and it was end-to-end - both teams had some good chances.
"You could say we were lucky to get away with a point in some respects, but I did think we worked very hard and had some good counters. We just didn't have the quality in the last bit at the finish."
Owing to their FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United, Derby have extra time to prepare for their trip to Millwall on January 30, while Bristol City have a quick turnaround as they welcome Manchester City to Ashton Gate in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday evening, live on Sky Sports.