Exeter and Portsmouth had to settle for a point each in a match of few clear-cut opportunities at St James Park.

Portsmouth created the better of the chances in the first half with Denver Hume striking the upright after a poor Jamal Blackman clearance fell to him some 30 yard out.

Owen Dale had an effort topped over the bar, but Blackman saved the best until just before half-time when he quickly got down to his left to divert Archie Collins’ tackle behind for a corner and from the resultant kick, he brilliantly tipped Michael Morrison’s header around the upright.

Exeter created few openings of their own, but they did have the ball in the net only for the goal to be disallowed for an apparent foul by Matt Jay on Pompey goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.

The home side started the second half well and Jack Sparkes crossed low for Jay, who really should have turned the ball in from close range, but was denied by Griffiths.

Blackman made another good save to keep out Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s low, 20-yard shot, while Alex Hartridge dragged a low shot wide from distance after driving out from the Exeter defence.

Jay fired straight at Griffiths, but it was Pompey that ended the game strongly without being able to find a winning goal.

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