REPORT: Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Derby
Wednesday maintained their unbeaten start to the term, drawing 0-0 with Derby County at Hillsborough.
Both sides had their spells in a lively and open contest but clear cut chances were few and far between during the first Championship fixture in S6.
On the defensive front, the goalless draw was the Owls’ third straight clean sheet in 2014/15 – a welcomed statistic for Stuart Gray’s men.
There was an electric atmosphere inside Hillsborough for the first piece of Championship action of the season with both sets of fans making themselves heard from kick-off.
And there were chances at both ends inside a lively first ten minutes.
Derby threatened first as Simon Dawkins’ snapshot from outside the area was stopped by Keiren Westwood before Owls debut man Stevie May almost registered his first goal in blue and white.
Kieran Lee blasted on the volley into a crowded 18-yard box and May deflected the ball across Lee Grant, but the ex-Owls keeper managed to make a low save at the last.
The chances continued to come as Jeff Hendrick scuffed wide on the volley from a Rams free kick before Wednesday came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock.
Excellent link-up play between Atdhe Nuhiu and Jacques Maghoma gave the latter a yard of space to crash his volley into the side netting.
The Owls were enjoying a good spell in the game at the midway point of the first half and gave the visitors a scare when Chris Maguire’s deflected free kick smashed against the crossbar and Tom Lees’ header was cleared off the line by Chris Martin.
The open nature of the first half continued into the second as Derby’s Craig Forsyth went through on goal, but Lees made a superb last-ditch recovery challenge to halt the defender in his tracks.
Grant had to be alert to keep out ex-Ram Maguire, who let fly with a fizzing long-range effort before Derby substitute Johnny Russell went through one-v-one with Westwood but dragged wide of the upright.
Then came the best chance of the visitors and it was Russell at the heart of the action once again.
The striker sprung the offside trap and advanced towards goal but there was no way past Westwood, who narrowed the angle and made a crucial save.
Gary Madine threatened to snatch a late winner when his glancing header sailed wide and as stoppage time approached, Derby seemed content with a point and the spoils were shared in S6.
Owls: Westwood, Palmer, Loovens, Lees, Mattock, Maguire, Lee (Coke 41), Hutchinson, Maghoma, Nuhiu (Madine 71), May
Derby: Grant, Christie, Forsyth, Bryson, Buxton, Keogh, Dawkins (Russell 66), Hendrick, Martin, Ward (Best 61), Hughes (Mascarell 60)