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Aug 16, 2014

Spoils shared at Hillsborough

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Sheffield Wednesday and Derby maintained their unbeaten starts to the season following an entertaining 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

Owls winger Chris Maguire went closest for the home side with a first-half free-kick against the crossbar while Rams substitute Johnny Russell wasted two excellent opportunities after the break.

The result means both sides have yet to concede a goal in their opening three matches of the campaign, registering two wins and a draw in league and cup.

Derby forward Simon Dawkins had the game's first effort on target when his half-volley from just inside the 18-yard box flew straight at Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood in the sixth minute.

Rams goalkeeper Lee Grant then had to be alert at the other end as the hosts responded immediately. Wednesday midfielder Kieran Lee drove in a shot from the edge of the box which was diverted goalwards by debutant striker Stevie May before ex-Owl Grant managed to intervene.

Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick, looking to score for the third successive game, had an excellent opportunity in the 15th minute but volleyed wide from 15 yards after Jamie Ward's free-kick into the box was only partially cleared by the Wednesday defence.

Wednesday winger Jacques Maghoma then rattled the side-netting with a powerful right-foot drive from the left-hand side of the box.

Atdhe Nuhiu should have put the home side ahead in the 19th minute but the unmarked Austrian striker side-footed straight at Grant after being picked out by Liam Palmer's centre.

Rams striker Chris Martin fired into the side-netting after breaking away moments later before Maguire saw his 25-yard free-kick take a slight deflection and crash down off the Derby crossbar with 23 minutes played.

Scottish forward May drove narrowly wide with a shot across goal just after the half-hour mark and Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens had a header cleared off the line by Martin following Maguire's right-wing corner as both teams sought the breakthrough.

The visitors began the second half the stronger of the two teams but it was Wednesday who produced the first goalbound shot.

Maguire picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and then fired in a low effort towards the bottom right corner which was turned away by Grant before Nuhiu was flagged offside on the follow up.

Russell, a 66th-minute replacement for Dawkins, should have put last season's play-off finalists ahead with 21 minutes remaining.

The winger raced clear onto Craig Bryson's through-ball and hit a low left-footed shot across goal which was touched wide by the fingertips of Westwood, although referee Scott Duncan chose to award a goal-kick.

Russell was through on goal again seven minutes later but keeper Westwood produced another fine stop to ensure it ended all square.

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