Both teams struggled to find their passing rhythm in the first half, leading to groans of disappointment from the crowd.
Craig Dawson went close to breaking the deadlock with a looping header that went just over the crossbar in the 26th minute.
Graham Dorrans had a couple of opportunities to shoot at goal from free kicks, but failed to find the target on each occasion, while also firing over from open play.
Dawson put in a good block as Nacho Monreal wound up from the edge of the box five minutes before the break.
As the first half crept to a close Steven Reid clipped the top of the crossbar with a free kick.