Cardiff City 0 Derby County 0
Neither goalkeeper was extended during a game littered with mistakes from both sides and, though the Bluebirds had a Cameron Jerome effort disallowed for offside, they never looked like overcoming the dogged Rams.
Cardiff made two changes with Darren Purse and Michael Ricketts coming back into the starting line-up in place of Neil Cox and Willie Boland.
Included in central defence for the visitors was 17-year-old Wales Under-21 international Lewin Nyatanga.
Derby were first on attack and Dexter Blackstock brought a save from home keeper Neil Alexander in the third minute.
Cardiff's defence looked shaky as Purse and Glenn Loovens failed to dominate a lightweight Rams strike force.
A weak pass from Purse let Marcus Tudgay in on goal but Rhys Weston conceded a corner with a timely tackle.
On the half hour Jason Koumas fired a superb free-kick against the bar as City finally began to get in amongst the visiting defence.
Neither side made changes at the interval but Rams boss Phil Brown would have enjoyed his cup of tea more than Dave Jones.
City had the ball in the net in the 60th minute when a Kevin Cooper header rebounded off the bar to Jerome, but the referee's assistant had flagged for offside.
Ricketts and Jerome combined as Cardiff finally increased the pace but Jerome's shot was deflected for a fruitless corner.
Rams keeper Lee Camp kept his side on level terms with point-blank saves from Ricketts and Loovens.
But apart from Koumas, City were devoid of ideas and the victory at Leeds seemed light years away as the referee brought an untidy game to an end.