Burton Albion rescued a late point from their npower League 2 game against Bradford City at the Coral Windows Stadium. The biggest talking point after the match was who actually scored the Brewers goal with both Chris Palmer and Adi Yussuf laying claim to their second goal of the season. Paul Peschisolido's side were trailing to Andrew Davies free kick at the end of the first half and there were just six minutes on the clock when substitute Palmer slung in a left foot cross that fizzed across the goal and nestled into the bottom corner with Yussuf instantly claiming the final touch but with Palmer equally insistent that his cross had gone straight in. It mattered little who got the credit as the result brought to an end Albion's three match losing streak and made it five draws from six League 2 encounters with the Bantams.
Tom Parkes returned to the team for the first time since August as the Brewers went in search of their first points of 2012. The popular young defender came into the side at the expense of Danny Blanchett in the left back position and there were also starting recalls for Cleveland Taylor and Jacques Maghoma, sporting a new yellow stripe in his hair. Chris Palmer and Andres Gurrieri dropped to the bench. With Tony James also missing the game (Hamstring injury) there was also a recall for Nathan Stanton in the heart of defence.
Parkes was soon into action picking up a yellow card inside five minutes. The young defender upended Nahki Wells as he chased a ball down the channel and received a card for his troubles. the free kick taken by Craig Fagan looked comfortable for Ross Atkins but underneath his crossbar he still needed two attempts to clutch onto the ball.
Nathan Stanton quickly followed his team mate into the book for a tug back on Wells as the livewire front man seemed to foul the Brewers defender before darting towards the penalty area.
The home side continued to threaten more and it took a good challenge form young Callum Driver to halt a good run from Andy Haworth as he jinked along the bye line. the Bradford fans screamed for a penalty but referee Lee Collins waved away any appeals.
Albion's first chance came in the 16th minute. As the Bradford half of the pitch cut up quite badly flowing attacking football was proving difficult but Calvin Zola found Cleveland Taylor but he could only balloon his shot well over the crossbar.
The Brewers tried to carve out a chance in the 24th minute when the pitch helped Albion again as Bradford failed to clear. Justin Richards freed Jacques Maghoma but he was closed down as he ran across the edge of the area before finding McGrath who in turn found Taylor. His cross looked teasing but proved comfortable for Jon McLaughlin in the Bradford goal. The home keeper then had to be alert as Zola fell back to head a Maghoma cross into the arms of the waiting keeper.
Ricky Ravenhill went into the referee's book for a foul on Jacques Maghoma in the 29th minute and it presented Albion with a nice chance to strike from 25 yards out but after much deliberation and placement of the ball Ryan Austin fired high and wide.
Bradford began to dominate more as the half wore on and both Atkins and Austin had to make vital interceptions as the home side pressed forward. Atkins clutching onto Fagan's curling free kick and Austin, facing his own goal having to deal with a ball forward and Wells trying to chase onto it.
Austin though was guilty of conceding a free kick 25 yards out as he grappled with James Hanson and it was set up beautifully for Andrew DAVIES to cul the ball over the wall and beyond the outstretched fingertips of Ross Atkins just off his goal line. When things go against you they really go against you and after a battling first half the Brewers found themselves trailing again with a mountain to climb.
Half time: Bradford City 1-0 Burton Albion
Bradford came out fired up for second half and after a corner was partially dealt with the home side broke again with Andy Haworth putting a teasing ball across the six yard box that eluded everyone.
Albion responded and a teasing run from Maghoma down the left eventually found Richards and when he turned and played the ball across the area it was the same resulty - nobody able to get a vital touch.
Albion were playing in the slightly better half of the pitch now and a raiding run from Cleveland Taylor found Richards who in turn set up McGrath but his shot sailed over the crossbar and over the stand as well. A good chance missed.
Bradford came forward and were not far away from a second goal when a loose ball dropped for Ravenhill on the edge of the box and he scuffed a shot just wide of the far upright.
The home side came forward again winning another corner and this time Davies almost grabbed a second goal, this time with his head but as the ball looped towards the top corner Atkins leapt to push the ball onto the woodwork and away to safety.
On the hour mark Albion made their first change with Adi Yussuf introduced at the expense of Justin Richards.
Rob Kozluk made it two yellow cards apiece as he was shown a card for a challenge on Maghoma but Albion were unable to make anything from the set piece that followed. However Bradford really should have doubled their lead in the 68th minute. Callum Driver lost out in a battle with Haworth and the wingers teasding cross just evaded Wells lunging in at the far post.
Wells was the man tom be replaced when Bradford made their first change on 72 minutes. It gave a chance for loan signing Deane Smalley to impress on his debut after signing in the week from Oxford United. Albion responded with a chanve of their own as Chris Palmer replaced Cleveland Taylor.
It was Yussuf who had Albion's next opportunity with a lovely turn and shot on the edge of the area but a vital deflection from a Bradford defender took the pace off the shot and allowed McLaughlin to push the ball away from danger by the post.
Andres Gurrieri was given a chance to make an impact when he was brought on in place of John McGrath with twelve minutes of the game remaining.
Albion were all at sea defensively in the 80th minute as Austin and Stanton made a hash of clearing the danger from a long ball forward. The ball fell invitingly for Haworth but Stanton redeemed himself with a good block to only concede a corner.
Eighty four minutes were on the clock when Albion fashioned an extraordinary equaliser. Albion were pressing when the ball came out to PALMER on the right. He cut back inside and put in a left foot curling cross that evaded everyone including the keeper and nestled in the corner of the net.
It was the last meaningful action but it secured a precious point for Paul Peschisolido's men.
BRADFORD: McLaughlin, Jones, Hanson, Ravenhill, Wells, Bullock, Kozluk, Haworth, Seip, Davies, Fagan. Substitutes: Duke, Hannah, Smalley, Taylor, Mitchell.
ALBION: Atkins; Driver, Stanton, Austin, Parkes; Taylor, Bolder, McGrath, Maghoma; Richards, Zola. Substitutes: Poole, Corbett, Palmer, Yussuf, Gurrieri.
Referee: Mr. L.Collins (Surrey)
GOALS: Bradford - Davies (43); ALBION - Palmer (84)
Attendance: 9,744 (238 away)