Lee Tomlin missed a second-half penalty as Bristol City dropped into the Championship relegation zone with a goalless home draw against Burton.
The skilful midfielder blasted his spot-kick high over the bar after John Mousinho had been judged to have pushed Aden Flint inside the box. It proved a costly miss as, despite heavy late pressure, the hosts were unable to penetrate a hugely committed Burton defence.
The result heaped more pressure on City head coach Lee Johnson, whose side had more than enough chances to win.
The home side could have been out of sight in the first five minutes as they rocked Burton with a fast start. Tomlin hit the crossbar with a second-minute volley after he was left in yards of space to connect with Aaron Wilbraham's flick-on.
Seconds later Joe Bryan had a shot fumbled around a post by Burton goalkeeper Joe McLaughlin and moments after that Tomlin's lob just cleared the crossbar.
As the visitors began to settle Marvin Sordell began causing problems down the right and his ninth-minute shot brought a smart save from Fabian Giefer.
Another Sordell shot was tipped wide by the City keeper after 25 minutes, while a cross from the same player flashed across goal with no one able to get the final touch.
There was a moment of controversy on the stroke of half-time when Wilbraham powerfully headed home a Dave Cotterill corner, only for the effort to be ruled out for pushing.
Johnson made a double substitution on the hour, sending on strikers Milan Djuric and Matt Taylor for Wilbraham and midfielder Reid.
Burton should have gone in front moments later when John Brayford's low cross found Lloyd Dyer unmarked in front of an empty net. It looked a certain goal, but Dyer somehow mis-hit his tap-in and saw the ball roll agonisingly wide of a post.
Then came Tomlin's penalty miss after 65 minutes and Burton almost capitalised straight away as Cauley Woodrow shot narrowly wide.
Djuric headed straight at McLaughlin from a Dave Cotterill cross as home fans began to show anxiety. Woodrow twice went close for Burton before an almighty scramble in the Burton goalmouth saw no fewer than three goal-line clearances as the visitors defended for their lives.
City's third substitute Jamie Paterson was left holding his head when McLaughlin dived to save his low shot with City throwing everything at their opponents.
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson:
"I don't know how we didn't score, but clearly we have to stop running over black cats. Lee Tomlin reckons the ground gave way under him as he went to strike the penalty and we scored a good goal just before half-time, only to have it ruled out.
"Nothing has changed as far as I am concerned and I will go ahead in preparing for Norwich City on Tuesday night. The fans were really supportive today and I understand their frustration at the final whistle. The players gave everything and we just needed a break in front of goal."
Burton boss Nigel Clough:
"We may not be as good as some of the other teams, but there is nothing wrong with our spirit. The players put bodies on the line, which is the least we must do if we are to compete in the Championship.
"I haven't seen the penalty incident again, but it looked harsh at the time. For a goalless draw, the game certainly didn't lack incident."