Portsmouth boss John Mousinho cut a frustrated figure as his Sky Bet League One leaders were held to a goalless draw at struggling Exeter to make it three games without a win.

Pompey enjoyed more possession and territory, but it was Exeter that created the better chances.

Their troubles in front of goal – four goals in 15 games now – were all too evident, though, while Pompey rarely troubled Exeter goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo.

“We started OK, we played well for 15 minutes but then I thought we lost control of the game,” Mousinho said. “That was the frustration as you cannot afford to waste a half and hope something happens in the second half.

“I think we did pretty well in the second half and we were the team in the ascendancy. We had a few chances that, on another day, we put in the back of the net.

“I wasn’t worried about the second-half performance, that was fine, it was more the fact that if you do waste 45 minutes against any side you leave yourself open to drawing games and potentially losing them.

“If we had beaten Fleetwood and got the result we deserved against Bristol Rovers, then you think ‘OK, we have had a slight off night and take the point and move on’.

“But the frustration builds because we haven’t won those last two league games as well. It is naturally going to, but we have to look at the bigger picture and try and address some of the issues we had tonight.”

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell felt his side were good value for a point and created the better chances with Sonny Cox firing straight at Will Norris and Ilmari Niskanen striking the post.

“I think we have to be happy with the result, we always want to try and win games, especially at home, but we are playing top of the league, we have been on a difficult run, but we had a fantastic win on Boxing Day, so to back that up tonight, we will take it,” he said.

“Both teams had small chances in the game, I think we had slightly the better of those chances to win, but I think it was a pretty even game and we will take the point and move on to Reading on New Year’s Day.

“We have had a difficult run for many different reasons, but I believe in this team.

“We had an excellent result on Boxing Day and we took that into tonight, we tried to play on the front foot and we had a fantastic home support backing us.
“We created opportunities, but it wasn’t to be. But our work ethic, our desire to keep a clean sheet was outstanding against a very good team who are top of the league and flying high. It was a good point.”