Derby County 0 Leeds United 0

Last updated : 11 February 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Derby overcame the absence of several key players to halt Leeds' promotion charge in a game of few chances at Pride Park.

There was excitement surrounding issues off the field as Derby supporters staged a lengthy protest against the club's board outside the main entrance at the end of the game.

Around 1,000 fans held up banners and placards and chanted "sack the board" in the latest demonstration against Derby's owners.

The club are currently the subject of two takeover bids with a local consortium of businessmen the popular choice with the fans.

On the field, Derby performed with spirit and endeavours to stifle an in-form Leeds team who were limited to only one clear chance in the 90th minute.

Derby also had only one real opening and in the end the scoreline was about right.

Leeds will be disappointed that they failed to make more of the possession they enjoyed but Derby deserve credit for overcoming the absence of their suspended playmaker Inigo Idiakez and Seth Johnson and Michael Johnson who are both long-term injury victims.

The Moroccan striker Mounir El Hamdaoui marked his second loan spell from Spurs with a bright and energetic performance but Derby are desperately short of quality up front and have now failed to score in their last three matches.

They should have broken that barren run in the 59th minute when El Hamdaoui put Danny Graham in on goal but the on-loan Middlesbrough striker saw his shot rebound off the legs of Neil Sullivan.

Leeds had plenty of the ball but Derby defended stoutly and the best chance for the visitors fell to Jon Douglas in the 74th minute.

The midfielder combined cleverly with Liam Miller, who played the ball across the face of the six-yard box only for Douglas to blaze the chance high over the crossbar.

It was a bad miss and Leeds did not get another opening like it and could have lost the game in the last five minutes.

El Hamdaoui had a 20-yard shot that fizzed only just wide and it was Derby who looked morel likely to break the deadlock at the end.

Both teams ended with injury concerns after Leeds striker Rob Hulse needed stitches in a leg wound and Derby left-back Richard Jackson limped off with a hamstring injury on the hour.