Connor Dicks reports from Ashton Gate
City were forced to wait for their first league victory of the season despite controlling the majority of their 1-1 draw with Port Vale in Staffordshire.
The Robins bossed possession and created numerous opportunities, eventually get their noses in front in the 55th minute through Scott Wagstaff’s near post drive.
Within touching distance of that elusive league win, Lee Hughes capitalised on Aden Flint’s weak back pass to rescue a point for the home side.
The Robins were unchanged for the first time this season, meaning Lewis Dunk started on the bench after finalising his loan move from Brighton & Hove Albion 24 hours earlier.
City started well and twice came close to taking the lead in the opening ten minutes.
After Wagstaff was cynically fouled 25 yards from goal, Marlon Pack stepped up but his effort was deflected inches wide of the post with goalkeeper Chris Neal stranded.
Moments later former Charlton Athletic man Wagstaff was looking dangerous again, nearly finding the net with a first-time effort from Joe Bryan’s cross which flashed wide of the upright.
The away side continued in the ascendancy, with Bryan delivering a number of teasing crosses into dangerous areas that caused problems for the Vale backline.
But for all the pressure, City had they failed to find a breakthrough. Vale edged their way into the match; Chris Lines and Tom Pope both shooting narrowly wide.
O’Driscoll’s side still looked dangerous in attack though, with Bryan getting the better of Yates down the left flank. The City youngster crossed for Emmanuel-Thomas, who controlled well at the back post before creating a yard of space and firing into the side-netting on his weaker right foot.
Baldock eventually had the beating of Neal in the home goal but saw his low shot rebound off the inside of the post and bounce to safety.
Then Bobby Reid’s curling effort left the Vale keeper rooted to the spot but striker Pope was the unlikely saviour, backtracking to make an excellent clearing header.
Emmanuel-Thomas caused problems cutting inside from the right flank and in stoppage time forced Neal into a fantastic save. The rebound fell to Bryan but a Vale defender threw his body in the way to ensure the sides went into the break level.
City eventually opened the scoring ten minutes after the break. Liam Chilvers was dispossessed by Emmanuel-Thomas, who rolled the ball into the path of Wagstaff down the right. Advancing into the box, the midfielder’s first-time strike – which appeared to be a cross – wrong-footed Neal and had the beating of the keeper at his near post.
O’Driscoll’s side continued to press in search of a second goal to kill off the game with Baldock twice going close.
Neal learnt from his earlier mistake when he denied the City captain at his near post. Moments later the City skipper again looked the danger man when he latched on to Reid’s through ball before cutting inside two defenders but was unable to find the far corner as his strike whistled past the post.
City were in control restricting the home side to shots from long range that failed to test Elliot Parish.
With stoppage time approaching, the travelling 413 City fans were to be heartbroken, along with their team on the pitch.
Flint passed back to Parish with Hughes stealing in on the blind side. The former West Brom hitman rounded Parish to roll home into an unguarded net, sealing an unlikely point.
It could have been worse. Former City winger Jennison Myrie-Williams, on as a substitute, charged down the left flank before firing into the side-netting with almost the last kick of the game.
At the whistle, Flint sunk to his knees, dejected. Many of his team-mates looked to the heavens. They now have a further two-week wait, for the away trip to Crewe Alexandra, for the next opportunity to secure a three-point haul in Sky Bet League One.