Bradford joint-manager Mark Trueman believes the point earned at in-form Stevenage could prove crucial come the end of the season after the play-off-chasing Bantams came from behind to draw 1-1 at the Lamex Stadium.
Luke Norris put Boro on course for a fourth consecutive league victory with a 15th-minute header that Richard O’Donnell found too hot to handle, the goalkeeper parrying the ball on to the crossbar and into the net.
But the visitors levelled against the run of play 12 minutes later when Connor Wood’s cross was met by Clayton Donaldson, whose header looped over a stranded Jamie Cumming in the Stevenage goal.
The draw leaves Bradford 11th in the League Two table, five points off seventh-placed Newport with eight games to play, and Trueman is confident his team can use the result as a springboard for a strong finish to the season.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t take all three points, but they’re an in-form team and this point could be a big one going into the business end of the season,” said Trueman, 34. “We beat Forest Green on Friday, so we can take a lot of positives from the weekend as a whole.
“We showed great character to get back in the game after the way we started. Then when we’d settled and got to grips with how they were playing I thought we caused them problems going the other way.
“In the second half I thought we got the press right and were unlucky not to finish our chances. We carried on building, but just couldn’t get that cutting edge opportunity that we’ve had in the last few games.”
Both sides could have gone in front after the break, with Bradford substitute Billy Clarke close to scoring with his first touch, and Boro’s Arthur Read seeing his effort cleared off the line by Niall Canavan.
A draw for Stevenage leaves them two places and two points below Bradford in the standings, and boss Alex Revell said his disappointment at dropping two points was a sign of how far his side have come in a short space of time.
He said: “The players have given everything in this run that we’re on and it shows how far we’ve come when you’re disappointed with the draw.
“We’re all on a learning curve and you always worry with two games in quick succession about how the players are going to react. But I thought we were excellent in the first half.
“We went in front and continued for a little spell, but they grew into it and their goal was poor for us to concede. We have to make sure that we build again for a big game on Saturday, but learn from those experiences today.”