Stalemate stifles Ipswich charge
Ipswich missed out on the chance to leapfrog Derby in the npower Championship table after the two sides played out an entertaining goalless draw at Pride Park.
The visitors were on the front foot for long periods and Rams goalkeeper Frank Fielding made a pair of fine first-half saves from Michael Chopra and Lee Martin.
After the interval Fielding touched a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas drive onto the post and Town were unable to find a way through.
Derby's main threat came from the pace of Theo Robinson in attack and Ben Davies' set-piece delivery, and Jason Shackell had a header from the latter's corner cleared off the line in the closing moments.
The point lifts the Rams up to 12 in the table, while Ipswich remain a point behind them in 15th.
Jamie Ward returned to the Derby attack in place of illness victim Steve Davies, the only change made by boss Nigel Clough from last week's 1-1 draw at Bristol City.
Paul Jewell named the same Ipswich XI that recorded a 1-0 home triumph over Barnsley to face his former club.
In the 10th minute Darryl Murphy capitalised on an error from Rams defender Jake Buxton to raid down the left wing and cut the ball back to Chopra, whose shot on the turn drew a splendid save from Fielding diving away to his right.
Derby were a threat on the counter attack, largely through top-scorer Robinson, but he delayed his shot at the vital moment when he found a 21st minute opening.
Fielding was undoubtedly busier than his opposite number Arran Lee-Barrett and the former England Under-21 international produced an acrobatic stop to deny Martin from 25 yards shortly after Town midfielder Andy Drury drove narrowly past the post.
At the other end Robinson got on the end of a low Gareth Roberts cross but could only find the side netting.
Ipswich regained the assendancy after the interval and Grant Leadbitter flashed an effort over the bar following a well-timed run into the Derby area.
In the 51st minute Chopra teed-up Murphy on the edge of the box but his attempt also ended up beyond the crossbar.
Robinson continued to keep the Town defence on their toes and as the hour approached he was just off target with a spectacular scissor-kick from Davies' corner, before heading wide from his team-mate's next set piece.
Davies was then off target with a shot of his own before Emmanuel-Thomas came agonisingly close to giving Ipswich the lead.
The former Arsenal youngster cut in from the right wing and drilled towards the top corner, but Fielding got a vital touch and the ball cannoned back off the foot of the post.
Derby almost stole the points with five minutes remaining as the visitors once again failed to deal with a Davies corner and Shackell's header was hacked off the line by Aaron Creswell.
Derby 0-0 Ipswich: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.