There were chances at both ends, but the Coca-Cola Championship match between Derby and Barnsley ended goalless at Pride Park.

The visitors created the better chances, Michael Mifsud twice seeing his shots saved by Stephen Bywater when one-on-one with the Derby goalkeeper.

Bywater also produced a stunning save to thwart former Ram Jon Macken from point-blank range as Nigel Clough's side never hit their stride.

Cheered on by another capacity crowd, Derby started brightly and forced a corner in the opening minute when Andy Todd's cross was deflected behind by Bobby Hassell.

Barnsley survived the early scare and got a foothold in the game, before creating two chances in as many minutes.

Hugo Colace's goalbound effort after five minutes was blocked by on-loan Watford midfielder John Eustace, making his home debut.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce then shot into the side-netting from the left-hand side of the area.

Bywater's long throw set Gary Teale free down the left in the ninth minute - and the winger, recalled to the Scotland squad this week after almost a year, came within inches of scoring. But his looping shot narrowly cleared the bar.

Barnsley went close with a similar effort soon afterwards when Anderson de Silva's chip from the edge of the box landed on the roof of the net.

The visitors were presented with a golden chance to open the scoring midway through the first half.

Robbie Savage's poor header allowed Macken to release his strike partner Mifsud, but the Malta international's shot was blocked by Bywater.

Mifsud was fortunate to escape a booking for a bad foul on Derby captain Paul Connolly three minutes before the break, referee Andy Penn choosing to give the diminutive striker a telling-off.

Another long clearance by Bywater caused Barnsley problems in added time at the end of the first half when goalkeeper Heinz Muller spilled the ball under a challenge from Rob Hulse - but Simon Davey's side managed to clear the danger.

Clough brought on Barry Bannan at the break, Nacer Barazite making way.

Just as in the first half, it was the Rams who immediately created a chance.

Steve Davies broke clear down the right wing; his cross was met by Eustace, but his header was straight at Muller.

From Muller's clearance, a short back pass by Todd allowed Mifsud a second one-on-one opportunity, but Bywater again won the battle of nerves and blocked with his feet.

An injury forced off Barnsley defender Robert Kozluk after 49 minutes, and he was replaced by Mounir El Haimour.

The change coincided with Derby seeing more of the ball in their opponents half and Muller reacted well to push Eustace's shot wide after 65 minutes.

From the resulting corner, Todd was unable to direct his far-post header goalwards.

Teale then stung Muller's palms with a long-range shot.

But Barnsley threatened again midway through the second half when Bywater failed to collect Andranik Teymourian's long free-kick under pressure from former Derby defender Darren Moore.

Stephen Foster was first to react to the loose ball - but fortunately for Bywater, his overhead kick was straight at him.

Bywater had another lucky escape when he left El Haimour's deep cross from the left only to see it hit the post.

The Derby goalkeeper produced a superb save from point-blank range to thwart Macken after 78 minutes.

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