Pompey’s hopes of beating the Championship drop suffered a blow after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Bristol, despite their gutsy efforts.
The Blues turned in a fine second-half display but just couldn’t find the killer goal that would have breathed new life into their battle against relegation.
Despite the onslaught on former goalkeeper David James’ goal, that vital breakthrough never arrived, with good opportunities falling to David Norris and Luke Varney, who failed to convert from great positions.
Loan forward Chris Maguire turned in an excellent performance after the break and he threatened on a number of occasions as he provided the spark.
But Michael Appleton’s troops became more and more desperate in the search for a goal in the final few minutes, with even Jamie Ashdown going up for a corner in stoppage time.
And after being roared on in a pulsating atmosphere, the Pedro Mendes moment failed to materialise, leaving Pompey eight points adrift of safety with just 10 games left.