Derby County 1 Coventry City 1
A sickening head injury to Richard Shaw cast a black cloud over another gritty away performance from Coventry that saw them earn a point in the East Midlands.
Morten Bisgaard ' s deflected drive put the hosts in front only for Dele Adebola to equalise with a slick finish, but all eyes were on Shaw.
The veteran centre-half was stretchered out of Pride Park unconscious following a shuddering clash of heads with Marcus Tudgay after half-an-hour.
It took the Pride Park medical team fully eight minutes to ensure Shaw left the field safely and he was driven straight to hospital with a dreadful gash on his head.
It capped a bad night for the 37-year-old who was unwittingly involved in Derby's goal.
Coventry had been on the back foot from the opening whistle and it came as no surprise when Bisgaard broke the deadlock after quarter-an-hour.
He produced some excellent footwork to dart between two Sky Blues defenders and swivelled back onto his right foot before unleashing a fierce low drive from 25 yards that took a wicked deflection off Shaw.
Stephen Bywater was left wrong-footed and, despite desperate attempts to recover his ground, the ball whistled past him at his near post.
It was a tepid opening from Mickey Adams' men and Derby could have doubled their lead before Claus Jorgensen and Adebola created half-chances.
But it was certainly 45 minutes to forget for Coventry and Shaw's injury only rubbed salt into the wounds.
However, Adams shuffled his pack at half-time and bought on Andy Morrell for the ineffective Willo Flood, which seemed to galvanise Coventry, but only after they had received a huge slice of good fortune.
Tommy Smith latched onto an Inigo Idiakez through-ball and whipped a low shot past the impressive Bywater but, thankfully for Coventry, it struck the far post and rebounded to safety.
The Sky Blues responded and equalised with their first shot on target when the dangerous Adebola finished with aplomb.
Marcus Hall delivered a straightforward ball over a static Derby back line and the former Birmingham City man surged clear on goal and slotted it past goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Matt Heath then limped off to leave Coventry with a patched-up defence of Hall and Andrew Whing at centrehalves with Neil Wood at left-back.
But they could have taken a surprise lead when Adebola missed a glorious opportunity to score his fifth goal of the season after glancing wide a Gary McSheffrey cross from point-blank range.
Bywater then took centre stage as Derby stepped into overdrive and the on-loan keeper denied Bisgaard twice and Tudgay with tremendous saves to earn his side a point.
If your pint-glass is halfempty, then this makes it ten games on the road without a win; if it is half-full, then it is another difficult away game negotiated and a point further away from the relegation zone.
City deserved no more than a point but the task for Adams now is to cobble together a defence that can stand up to another stern test at Brighton on Saturday.