DEBUTANT Ryan Brunt missed a glorious stoppage-time chance to leave York City still without a home win this season.
The Minstermen were held by Portsmouth after 21-year-old forward Brunt, recruited on loan from Bristol Rovers last week, headed wide from four yards.
Brunt has now failed to net in 26 senior outings, but York boss Nigel Worthington was still full of praise for the former Stoke City reserve despite his team having now gone six of their last eight games without hitting the target.
“The big man’s header would have capped a perfect debut because I thought he was outstanding for us,” Worthington said. “He got hold of the ball and was very strong up there.
“He was a handful for Portsmouth and didn’t allow them to get any free headers. Some of the positions he took up were very intelligent for a young man. He was a big plus for us and the kind of presence we have been looking for up there.”
The onus could be greater on Brunt in coming weeks after the hosts lost attacking pair Michael Coulson (calf) and Wes Fletcher (hamstring) to injury in a lacklustre first half.
After the break, Ryan Jarvis and Lewis Montrose both had chances before Michael Ingham saved well from Jed Wallace at the other end on 87 minutes.
Brunt, though, will still be wondering how he did not secure maximum points at the close when he headed past Paul Jones’s right-hand upright after substitute Tom Platt had met fellow replacement Jake Hyde’s cross to the far post.
York City: Ingham; McCoy, Lowe, McCombe, Ilesanmi; Jarvis (Platt, 90), Montrose, Penn, Coulson (Meikle, 4); Brunt, Fletcher (Hyde, 43). Unused substitutes: Mooney, Summerfield, Straker, Hirst.
Portsmouth: Jones; Devera, Whatmough (Ertl, 22), Robinson; Wynter, Dunne, Hollands, Wallace, Shorey; Westcarr (Atangana, 80), Drennan (Taylor, 69). Unused substitutes: Webster, Barcham, Holmes, Poke.
Referee: G Eltringham (County Durham).