A point is a point, whatever the circumstances, but there was precious little else to compensate Hull's numbed supporters as they filed out of the KC Stadium yesterday. Things had begun to go wrong well before kick-off. First Jimmy Bullard, whose impending home debut after almost a year's absence through injury had been loudly trumpeted, not least by City manager Phil Brown in his programme notes, cried off with yet another injury, this time picked up playing in a reserve fixture the day after he had come on as a substitute at Fulham on Monday.
Then it emerged that the young American striker Jozy Altidore had "twittered" that he had been left out for turning up late. That it was accompanied by an apologetic mea culpa – not easy in less than 140 characters – made little difference to the sense that off the field City were descending into chaos.
Depressingly, it quickly became clear that the state of affairs extended to the pitch, because the Tigers were dreadful, and had they been playing any team other than bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth, they would surely have been beaten.
As it was they dragged the visitors down to their level during the first half, and while Portsmouth realised what they were up against and created some good chances in the second period, a combination of poor finishing and bad luck ensured that City somehow got something out of the game.
Brown, who was regularly subjected to chants suggesting he did not know what he was doing, or imploring him to "sort it out", was still with his players an hour after the match ended. Opposite number Paul Hart, by contrast, appeared relatively content with the result, if not the performance, which he acknowledged was the worst his team had played "in a month".
Hart added: "The encouraging thing is that we are creating chances, even when we are not playing as well as we have been. But I am pleased to have got something from the game, we deserved it."
Other than a shot pulled wide by Tommy Smith in the opening minute, it was an hour before the match yielded a chance worthy of the name, when a scramble in the City area saw the ball sit up nicely for Aruna Dindane.
The Ivorian hit his shot crisply, but straight at Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill. Soon afterwards Myhill had to save again from Hassan Yebda; otherwise it was hit, hope, and foul.
"It's testimony to how far this club has come that the crowd has gone home disappointed," said Brown.
Referee: S Attwell
Man of the match: James
Match rating: 3/10
The trouble with twitter
Darren Bent The Sunderland striker managed to upset fans of Tottenham, Hull City and Stoke City during his protracted transfer saga in the summer. Bent took a swipe at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, saying: "Do I wanna go Hull? NO. Do I wanna go Stoke? NO. Do I wanna go Sunderland? YES. So stop f****** around Levy."
Tim Bresnan The burly England cricketer had to apologise after a rant at one of his followers who posted a doctored photo poking fun at his waistline. "Don't mind my mates dishing it out but who the f*** are you. Crawl out of your basement. U knob."
Ian Poulter A prolific tweeter, who landed in hot water for posting screenshots of the film The Hangover while in a cinema just before the US Open. After being told to stop by staff, the golfer tweeted: "No more pics from the cinema. I never new (sic) you couldn't. They should be happy, I'm plugging the movie to 70,000, a must-watch."
PhilLip Hughes The Aussie opener announced on his Twitter page that he had been dropped for the third Ashes Test, 90 minutes before the official announcement had been made. The time difference with Australia was somehow to blame.