DERRY City had to be settle with a home point against leagu leaders Cork City as the contest failed to produce a goal.
Portsmouth target Ronan Curtis went close early on as Derry started well but the champions grew into the game as Jimmy Keohane had a chance blocked.
Keohane blasted over after the restart as Cork were the more dangerous side for most of the second half.
But Aaron McEneff hit the Cork woodwork in a frantic finale at a rain soaked Brandywell.
McEneff’s cross struck a post and rebounded into Cork keeper Mark McNulty’s hands just moments after an effort from Rory Hale was deflected inches wide.
But even after that, Cork had a last-gasp chance to snatch the three points as Derry keeper Gerard Doherty saved a Kieran Sadlier effort after a Steven Beattie cross had caused panic in the home defence.
Derry remain fourth – eight points behind the champions although the Candystripes have a game in hand.
Curtis headed the impressive Nicky Low’s cross inches wide in the opening minute with Rory Patterson then dragging a chance wide but Johnny Caulfield’s side began to squeeze the Candystripes in the second quarter as the home team began to lose fluency.
After Keohane’s effort was blocked, Conor McDermott had to move smartly to prevent Shane Griffin getting in a shot.
Keohane, at full stretch, couldn’t keep his shot down after the resumption as Cork looked to be taking a stranglehold on the contest.
However, Derry fought back to create a trio of late chances with Jack Doyle attempting to find a colleague instead of pulling the trigger himself before Hale’s deflected effort was immediately followed by McEneff striking the woodwork in injury-time.
Then came Cork’s late flurry with Doherty’s saving Sadlier’s effort following Beattie’s superb cross.
Cork now only lead Dundalk by a point after the Oriel Park outfit earned a 2-1 win over Sligo Rovers.
Third-placed Waterford stay three points behind Cork after drawing 1-1 in Tallaght against Shamrock Rovers.