Dull Derby go home with a point

Last updated : 22 January 2012 By Tony Scholes

It was hardly a classic, and having enjoyed what I consider to be our best performance of the season at Middlesbrough last week, yesterday's Turf Moor encounter will quickly be filed in the 'one to forget' category.

Keith Treacy came closest to breaking the deadlock

That's certainly not a criticism of us. It was never going to be a classic in the conditions with the high winds having such an effect, and with Derby's one intention, as relayed by manager Nigel Clough the day before, being to get a clean sheet. It was unlikely to ever reach the heights.

If we have a real weakness then it's in our inability to break teams down who, perhaps, are not the most adventurous. That's highlighted by the fact that we have the fourth best record in the league away from home but are down in the lower reaches on home results when, at times, teams show little adventure on their trips the Turf.

In some respects I was relieved to get the point yesterday. Not that I didn't think we deserved it but because similar games this season have seen us concede late goals and get nothing. A point was the least we deserved against a team that didn't come to play football as much as waste time almost from the onset and I found it staggering to hear Nigel Clough's comments after the game. The man must be seriously deluded because he's certainly not fooling anyone other than himself with his suggestion that they were positive and had the majority of the play.

We knew we would have to make changes for this game with both Junior Stanislas and Martin Paterson ruled out with hamstring injuries and it wasn't a big surprise that Keith Treacy and Charlie Austin got recalls to fill their places and the bench just about picked itself with late recruit Josh McQuoid one of the five named.

Both of the two players who came in were close to giving us the lead in what was a really bright start. In the very first minute Treacy played in Austin. Charlie manoeuvred himself a shooting chance and looked set to give us the lead within 30 seconds of kick off only for Derby defender Paul Green to get a block on it.

Before we'd chance to catch our breath there was another opportunity. Jay Rodriguez got in a cross from the right. Treacy pushed hard to get on the end of it but could only get his header over the bar.

We were causing them some problems and in games like this an early goal can be so important. Had we gone in front it would have forced Derby to come out and play. Unfortunately the goal didn't come and they made their intentions clear. Right from the start goalkeeper Frank Fielding was time wasting, something Premier League referee Lee Probert never seemed to pick up on.

With our early impetus gone, the rest of the half was hardly exciting. We continued to try and get forward whilst at the other end only a shot from Theo Robinson, saved by Lee Grant, caused us any anxiety whatsoever.

Both teams made enforced changes at half time. For Derby, James Bailey, who was feeling unwell, was replaced by Jeff Hendrick whilst Wallace had to retire suffering from back spasms that had forced him off once during the first half. That gave McQuoid the opportunity to make his Burnley debut.

Nothing much changed after the break. Apart from getting a couple of headers in from corners, Derby offered no more than they'd done in the first half, and we continued to struggle to break down a resolute defence.

The closest we came was from Treacy. Out wide on the left he hit a ball across that deceived Fielding and bounced off the far post. Luckily for Derby, Jason Shackell cleared the danger at the expense of a corner.

Treacy was replaced soon after that with Marvin Bartley coming in and we had a short spell when we might have scored. McQuoid, by now on the right hand side, was involved twice. He set up Austin who shot just wide and then released Bartley whose deflected cross found Jay Rod beyond the far post.

His shot looked set to break the deadlock but Fielding saved with his leg and that was probably our last real chance of winning the game.

Reading and Portsmouth, two games we lost 1-0 with stoppage time goals, were very much in my mind. I feared it might just happen again but Derby were in no real mood to even try and win the game. I wish they had; the game might just have opened up a bit.

Instead they continued to spoil and waste as much time as possible. "His dad would turn in his grave," I said at the thought of playing football this way. They were words echoed on the message board last night.

It was just how they approached it last season, but then those late goals from Tyrone Mears and Jack Cork won it for us.

Yesterday, we just couldn't get that breakthrough and had to settle for a point in what was our first 0-0 draw since the away game at Scunthorpe last season, 364 days earlier.

The result has seen us drop to 12th in the table, but it is so, so close and we are still only three points behind the play offs.

There is plenty to look forward to this season and hopefully there won't be many teams coming to Turf Moor with the approach and ideas that Derby County brought with them.

The teams were;

Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace (Josh McQuoid), Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Keith Treacy (Marvin Bartley 72), Charlie Austin, Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Brian Easton, Zavon Hines.
Yellow Cards: Ben Mee, Dean Marney.

Derby: Frank Fielding, John Brayford, Shaun Barker, Jason Shackell, Gareth Roberts, Paul Green, James Bailey (Jeff Hendrick 45), Craig Bryson, Jamie Ward, Callum Ball (Jake Buxton 84), Theo Robinson (Ryan Noble 57). Subs not used: Adam Legzdins, Ben Davies.
Yellow Cards: Callum Ball, Shaun Barker.

Referee: Lee Probert (Gloucestershire).

Attendance: 14,302.