Cardiff City failed to inflict a ninth successive defeat on Huddersfield Town in all competitions, but they clawed out a point from a match which could easily have been lost.
The Bluebirds struggled to create any sort of offensive impact over the 90 minutes, but how they scrapped in the team cause.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge kept a third clean sheet in his last four appearances and midfield player Harry Arter told Cardiff City TV: “The commitment was there from everybody and it puts us in good stead for the rest of the season.
“We proved against Leicester that whether we’re playing a team above us or around us the players will put in a shift.
“We’ll put in 100 per cent and we always try to do what our manager (Neil Warnock) asks of us.
“Our fans have been behind us all season. They know our players give their all and will do that for the rest of this season.”
The big talking points surrounded penalty decisions – one for each team.
Town manager David Wagner was raging after referee Lee Mason awarded his team a penalty after 86 minutes – and then decided it wasn’t a spot-kick after consulting linesman Stuart Burt.
Left-back Joe Bennett was out of position and failed to deal with a high ball aimed towards the Cardiff penalty area. Florent Hadergjonaj put him under pressure and the players clashed outside the penalty area before the Huddersfield player tumbled over inside the box.
Mason immediately pointed to the spot, but then Cardiff players encouraged him to go over for a chat with Burt.
“I really can’t find the words how this can happen,” said Wagner.
“The fourth official had no idea either, he was a surprised as everyone else. Decisions like this make tables and seasons. We have had so many decisions against us and I don’t know why.
“It was clearly a penalty, the video footage speaks for itself and we have not got it.”
Ian Wright, giving his verdict on BBC Match of the Day, was clear Huddersfield should have been awarded a spot-kick could have earned them victory.
“It was good that there was an experienced linesman,” said Warnock. “There wasn’t enough contact to give them [Huddersfield Town] a penalty and if there was a foul, it started outside the box.
“Junior Hoilett’s penalty shout in the first half was 10-times worse than that because got to the ball first before being taken out.”
Hoilett went down when Swiss player Florent Hadergjonaj slid on and sent the Bluebirds man sprawling, but appeals were waved away and Match of the Day pundits agreed after watching the incident again that the referee was spot on with that decision.
Their verdict was that Hadergonaj had touch the ball first and touched it away before contact with Hoilett.
The result means Huddersfield stay bottom of the Premier League, while Cardiff are still outside the bottom three ahead of next weekend’s trip to Newcastle United.
“We showed determination to keep our sixth clean sheet of the Premier season,” said Warnock.
“This could quite easily have been a Cardiff defeat, but if you can’t win, you’ve got a point and you’re better off having a point than nothing.
“I’m disappointed because it was there to be won and we weren’t up to scratch.
“We can only get better by bringing in two or three players in and find a settled side. I don’t think the chairman and chief executive have ever worked as hard to get me players.”
Warnock made two changes to the side that faced Tottenham Hotspur in our last Premier League fixture, with Bennett and Mendez-Laing in for Greg Cunningham and Bobby Decordova-Reid.
Striker Rhys Healey was among the City substitutes after returning from a loan spell at MK Dons.
The Bluebirds were lively on both flanks, with Mendez-Laing and Hoilett sparking problems for the visitors.
Overall, though, it was a fiercely contested match with too little quality in attacking areas from either side.
Huddersfield had 61 per cent possession, outshot their hosts 14-3 and earned 10 comers to City’s three. When you consider those statistics it’s clear the Bluebirds can take positives from their goalless draw.
Now Warnock prepares his team for back-to-back away fixtures against Newcastle United and Arsenal.