A late, late maiden Football League goal for Jordan Bowery snatched a point for Chesterfield against a Bradford side whose commitment and tactical awareness might have earned more than just a share of the spoils against any side but ours.
John Sheridan made three changes to the line-up that started the fine win over Gillingham, leaving Javan Vidal, Ian Morris and two-goal Deane Smalley on the bench. Dwayne Mattis went into central defence to allow Simon Ford to take Vidal's place, while Mattis's midfield berth was filled by Derek Niven. Up front, Jack Lester returned to partner Craig Davies. Ian Breckin returned to central defence.
Chesterfield started brightly, keeping possession and looking to get Lester and Davies away; Davies took a blow to the back of his head on 4 but resumed after treatment.
Bradford won the game's first corner on 8; Evans took it and Syers' header went comfortably over the bar. Chesterfield went forward from this; Davies found Lester wide on the right-hand side of the box and he threaded the ball through to DANNY WHITAKER, who found the top corner of the net, on 10.
At the other end, Hanson's left-footed shot from around 12 yards was tipped over by Lee for a corner. Robertson headed Evans' flag kick away from the near post. The ball came back to Syers, unmarked at the back post, and he converted from close range to equalise on 10.
Chesterfield attack broke down on 20 and the ball wasn't attacked on the edge of the City box; accordingly they broke to Adeyemi, but Robertson produced a fine tackle to deny the forward at the expense of a corner. Another City corner was taken by O'Brien on 23.
Chesterfield won their first corner on 28 when Whitaker's pass was cleared by Worthington. Hanson rolled his shoulder into Breckin's back as the Chesterfield man waited to head goalwards, but no penalty was given.
Lester threaded a fine ball through to Davies on 33 but Oliver came up with a fine tackle as Davies was about to pull the trigger. Bradford went up the field and won a corner and found men over at the back post, but the ball flew beyond them, and out.
Bradford brought Omar Daley on for Osborne after 35 minutes. Allott found Robertson well on the overlap on 39 and Gregor's fine cross was headed out by Eckersley for Chesterfield's second corner. Ford won it in the air, but headed over. Adeyemi went to ground just outside the box on 44 and a free kick was given; Evans' free kick went low to Lee's left but the keeper was equal to it, and Niven knocked the loose ball out for a corner. Robertson's header out precipitated a move that saw Chesterfield go forward at pace, but Davies's cross was cleared.
Halftime: Chesterfield 1 Bradford City 1. Attendance: 7556 (868 away)
Chesterfield brought Javan Vidal on for Ford at half time. With no apparent improvement in forward play, Smalley replaced Lester after only six minutes of the second half. Hanson scored City's second goal on 52; Breckin had done well to get in to get the ball away but fly=hacked it wide, only as far as Evans, whose cross was headed in from close range.
Talbot's attempted cross came off O'Brien to give Chesterfield a corner on 55. City worked the ball away quickly through Daley but Vidal had the pace to get the ball safely back to Lee. Smalley's busy run brought the ball up and Davies took over, curling a left-footed shot narrowly over on 59. Chesterfield won another corner on 60 and it was quickly taken, but Adeyemi cleared. Worthington headed Smalley's return header from Davies's cross out for a corner on 64.
With Bradford content, it seemed, to trust their two banks of four, Chesterfield were allowed to do almost all the attacking. City's midfield was gradually forced back on top of their defence but the home side couldn't find the width to get around the phalanx. Two Spireite corners in short order after 67 minutes led to Allott driving low but wide from around 25 yards, as City's firmness at the back compelled the home side to try shooting from longer range.
AnotherAllott drive was pushed wide by McLaughlin. Davies recovered the ball and crossed, but Niven couldn't get to it ahead of the keeper.
Bradford brought Flynn on for Worthington after 79. Talbot crossed well after a quick break on 83 and Smalley stretched to head, but was unable to keep it down. Bowery replaced Niven on 84.
Smalley was booked for trying to kick ball out of the keeper's hand after 86 minutes. This might have been born of frustration, but the home side were keeping their heads and their focus pretty well, and kept the pressure on. As the 90 elapsed, Craig Davies saw a cross headed out for a corner, but this was cleared, and it looked as though the Spireites' last chance had gone. At the death the ball was forced forward to Robertson; his cross was headed down by Breckin into the path of JORDAN BOWERY, who brought the ball under control and steered it past the keeper from close range to break Bradford hearts and spark celebrations among gleeful knots of home players all over the pitch.