Burnley 0 Derby County 0: McCann off target as the Rams stall

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The Independent Online

Derby County slipped out of the automatic promotion places after this desperate stalemate against a Burnley side who have been drifting out of play-off contention. But the Rams manager, Billy Davies, was pleased with the effort and result. "This was a great point," he said, "and we may look back at the end of the season and realise how good a point this was for us. This was a tough, tough match."

In fact, the Clarets spurned the best chance to win the three points when Chris McCann fired wide from close range after Wayne Thomas's cross had picked him out. "If there was a team going to nick it then it was going to be us," Steve Cotterill, the Clarets manager, said.

Burnley's goalkeeper Danny Coyne twice had to make saves from Matt Oakley, before his opposite number, Stephen Bywater, kept out Gifton Noel-Williams' close-range header. But injury forced Coyne off midway through the first half. His replacement, Brian Jensen, was soon called into action to block a David Jones effort.

"It took two goalkeepers for us to get a clean sheet" Cotterill, joked, "but Danny Coyne had been feeling a hamstring and we will have a look at the injury to see how long he will be out."

In the second half, Noel-Williams had yet another shot blocked, and he shot from Wade Elliott's corner. "We are disappointed as in the second half we were the team most likely to score," Cotterill said. But his profligate strikers let him down.

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