10 man Bradford (Park Avenue) put in a fantastic team performance to earn a point in a tough home clash with North Ferriby United.
Avenue skipper Nathan Hotte saw red for a handball in a goal line scramble, an incident which also saw John Danby save the resulting spot kick.
Jamie Price was brought into the side to play alongside Jack Rea shielding the defence, with Hotte dropping back to centre half.
John Deacey made two further changes to his starting line up from Saturday, Danny Frost and Chris Howarth coming in for Paul Walker and the injured Nathan Turner.
For the first home game in what feels like an age, Avenue started off the game well, creating chances and restricting the visitors to few of their own.
And it was the home side who took the lead on 17 minutes through a fantastic goal from defender Ryan Qualter.
Dan Clayton, once again starting at left back, whipped a delightful corner into the back post, where Qualter met it with a thumping volley which nestled in the bottom corner.
The goal in fact makes the centre half the club’s joint second highest goalscorer this season on 4 goals, only behind Chilaka (5).
Clayton had picked up an injury and left the field just before the half hour mark, being replaced by Richard Marshall. This meant that the impressive Price moved to left back with Marshall joining Rea in the midfield.
There were no further chances of note before the break and Avenue went in to half time in the lead for the first time since the victory over Barrow on the 11th of October.
But the game was changed dramatically in just the 7th minute of the second period when the referee made two huge calls.
A goal mouth scramble had ensued on a Ferriby attack, John Danby made a wonderful save, but as the ball pinged around the 6 yard box, the referee whistled for a penalty.
He had adjudged that Nathan Hotte had handled the ball deliberately as he was on the floor, and after a long debate between both sets of players and the referee, Hotte received a straight red card. Avenue fans particularly aggrieved as the officials missed a handball by North Ferriby striker Ryan Kendall in the build up.
But then came more heroics from Danby. Nathan Jarman’s spot kick was saved fantastically by the Avenue number 1, and the rebound was blazed over.
Perhaps surprisingly, the home side continued to control the game, every single player on the pitch showing a great fighting spirit which was commended by Assistant Manager Martin Drury after the game.
However, in the end, the extra man told as the visitors found an equaliser through Mark Gray.
North Ferriby won a throw in close to the penalty area, which was launched in by Louis Bruce. The Avenue defence got it away, but only straight back to Bruce who half-volleyed a low cross in, which was turned in well at the near post by centre half Gray.
For a 5 minute spell, the visitors’ tails were up, however Avenue stuck at it and ended the game extremely unlucky. After a few late corners, and Joe Colbeck almost catching the keeper out with a fierce free kick, Avenue struck the post in the final minute of regulation time through Richard Marshall.
Marshall, who had a few good efforts on goal late on, beat the keeper resoundingly with his left footed effort from outside the box, but it skipped off the surface and rebounded agonisingly off the post.
There was time for a hint of irony before the final whistle as Ferriby’s Kendall was booked late on- for handball.
The match finished 1 a piece but the performance was one to be very encouraged by, the home fans acknowledging that after the match, along with Drury, who spoke of his pride for the way the players applied themselves in the circumstances. Listen to my quick chat with the Avenue assistant after the game by clicking here.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Howarth, Price, Rea, Qualter, Clayton (Marshall 28), Colbeck, Hotte (c), Chilaka (Barraclough 84), Deacey, Frost (Colley 72)
Subs not used: Moke, Heaton
Goals: Qualter 17
North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Black (Bruce 34), Wilde (Peat 46), King (c), Gray, Yates, D’Laryea, Kendall, Jarman, St Juste (Bolder 66), Wilson
Subs not used: Nicholson
Goals: Gray 73
Referee: Joseph Johnson