Bradford (Park Avenue) ended their five match losing streak with a hard fought draw against league leaders Chester FC at the Horsfall Stadium.
In a game that saw plenty of tackles and passion, the visitors saw two goals disallowed, as well as a penalty save from John Lamb.
However, the home side came close to opening the scoring. A flighted corner by Jordan Deacey was met by captain James Knowles with a glancing header, but, the ball skimmed wide.
In a lively opening ten minutes, the game was dominated by firm tackles, and one was deemed as unfair by the referee as Craig Curran was cautioned for a late tackle on Bradford’s makeshift left back Michael Duckworth.
Both sides were forced into early substitutions through injury, as Chester’s winger Ashley Williams was replaced by Nathan Jarman, and Bradford withdrew Alex Davidson with Matty James.
Nonetheless, the Avenue, who were trying to deal with sustained Blues’ pressure, nearly caught the visitors on the counter attack. A neat inside pass from Richard Marshall found his midfielder Deacey, only for his double effort on goal to be blocked by Chester FC captain George Horan.
With half time approaching, the away side saw a goal disallowed. An inswinging free kick from Wesley Baynes was forced into the net by captain George Horan, but, the centre back was offside from the cross.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 0-0 CHESTER FC
Three minutes after the break, Neil Young’s side were looking to their frontmen to take the lead. Following good work from substitute Dave Hankin, the ball was half cleared into the path of Antoni Sarcevic, but, his effort was easily saved by John Lamb.
Nevertheless, the home side, again, were close to opening their account. A deep cross from Duckworth was met by the number nine Danny Holland, and despite flicking the ball around goalkeeper John Danby, the striker was off balance and blazed over from a tight angle.
Furthermore, Bradford continued to trouble the Blues defence with crosses from Michael Duckworth. The young full back managed to swing in a fine delivery, but, a header from midfielder Ross Daly was well saved by the diving Danby.
However, the visitors, somehow failed to find the net. A long ball found substitute Nathan Jarman, only for his shot from 12 yards to cannon off the crossbar.
A minute later, the league leaders failed to take their chance to score from the penalty spot. A foul on Jarman by Matty James gave left back Matthew McGinn the opportunity to score. However, the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb guessed the right way to palm the ball wide.
From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared by Bradford into the feet of McGinn, and his powerful shot was pushed away by the quick reactions of Lamb.
Once again, the away side continued their dominance, playing confident football. However, John Lamb came to the rescue for Bradford, denying Dave Hankin with a looping shot from distance.
Despite their intent to take the game to the Avenue, Chester FC nearly found themselves a goal behind. Again, Duckworth was creating openings down the left wing, and his teasing cross was missed by Marshall in front of goal under pressure from the Blues defence.
As the pitch was becoming an increasing problem, it nearly aided the visitors to score a goal. Firstly, the ball stuck in the mud, with Jamie Price unable to read the ball, and substitute Marc Williams was denied by the outstretched Lamb from 12 yards.
Secondly, the Blues found themselves clear in goal, as a slip from the Bradford defence gave their playmaker Antoni Sarcevic the chance to curl the ball around Lamb, but, his left footed effort sailed over the bar.
Furthermore, another error from the Avenue’s centre back Jamie Price allowed Marc Williams to shoot from 20 yards, but, again, Lamb was equal to his right footed effort.
As the game approached added time, Chester FC saw another goal disallowed. A quick throw in allowed Wesley Baynes to swing in a deep cross, but, Marc Williams was offside from the delivery, despite his header finding the bottom corner.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 0-0 CHESTER FC
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Clayton, Duckworth, Marshall, Knowles (c), Price, Daly (O’Brien 80), Davidson (James 25), Holland (Corner 80), Deacey, Walker.
Subs not used: Snodin, Drury.
Bookings: Clayton, Knowles, Daly, Price
Chester FC: Danby, Baynes, McGinn, Horan (c), Linwood, D. Williams, Curran (Hankin 45), Sarcevic, Turner, Mills (M. Williams 72), A. Williams (Jarman 22).
Subs not used: Collins, Howard.
Bookings: Curran, McGinn, Sarcevic.