North End had to settle for a point at Ashton Gate, as Sean Maguire went closest to winning the game, rattling the crossbar in the first half.
The game ended goalless, despite PNE having much the better of the chances, with Maguire, Johnson and Riis all going close against Nigel Pearson's men.
North End started the game extremely quickly and some excellent combination play between Daniel Johnson and Sean Maguire – a feature of the half – saw the Jamaican thread a ball through the middle for the striker to run on to, Robins’ skipper Dan Bentley needing to come out and smother at the feet of the Irishman.
Ben Whiteman again opened up the hosts on four minutes, his ball out to the right finding Sepp van den Berg, looking for his third goal in as many games, but his right-footed strike was just over the right corner of the post and bar from 15 yards.
City’s only shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes came from an unlikely source as summer recruit Rob Atkinson ran from the half-way line unchallenged and shot from 25 yards, Daniel Iversen needing to get a strong hand to palm the ball behind for a corner.
But if it was PNE who started the game the stronger, they finished the first half the same way. On 39 minutes a Ryan Ledson through ball saw Maguire run into a left-hand channel, getting off a shot across Bentley, which came back off the bar and eventually came back out to Whiteman, who scooped a shot over the City No.1, but just wide of the left-hand post from 20 yards.
With three minutes to go until the break, it was brilliant again. Johnson worked the ball from a corner and threaded Maguire in down the right; he drilled the ball across goal and it just needed a touch, but flashed across the face and out for a goal-kick.
The home side had the first shot of the second half, Iversen denying Han-Noah Massengo from 30 yards, after a driven half-volley from the diminutive midfielder, following a quick break from the midfield.
But North End were soon back in the opposition box, Johnson and Maguire forcing a corner after a superb switch by Emil Riis sent Josh Earl away down the left, the wing back drilling a ball into the six yard box that needed a block to turn behind.
On the hour mark another chance came. This time it was Riis firing over the bar after more good work from Earl, who collected a cross from Whiteman from the right corner of the City penalty area across the goal. The PNE No.32 put it back across for the Dane to shoot, but he was unable to keep his drilled effort down on the half-volley.
Ali McCann made his debut, with Alan Browne also coming on for Ledson and Riis with 17 minutes left, just after the Dane had raced through and been unable to control the ball in the box as Vyner put pressure on him as he was about to shoot.
Another debut saw Josh Murphy replace Johnson with 11 minutes to go, joining Maguire in attack for the closing stages of the game.
On 82 minutes, Chris Martin stung the gloves of Iversen with a 25-yard free-kick after Massengo had been fouled by McCann. The effort went up and over the big PNE wall, but was well clawed away by the Dane.
In the 89th minute, a brilliant corner on the left from McCann went to the back post, with Hughes rising highest and heading towards the top right-hand corner, but Bentley was well-placed to grab the ball out of the air to confirm the points were shared.
Bristol City line-up: Bentley (c), Atkinson, James, Martin, King (Semenyo, 69), Weimann, Pring (Dasilva, 69), Baker, Kalas, Vyner (Wells, 78), Massengo. Subs not used: O’Leary, Bakinson, Scott, Palmer.
PNE line-up: Iversen, Storey, Bauer, Hughes, van den Beg, Ledson (McCann, 73), Whiteman, Earl, Johnson (c) (Murphy, 79), Riis (Browne, 73), Maguire. Subs not used: Rudd, Cunningham, Lindsay, Potts.
Attendance: 17,967 (753 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr T Robinson