Phil Parkinson issued another plea to hang on to Nahki Wells after City’s jewel in the crown saved his side once again.

Wells took his goal tally for the season to 15 with a spectacular free-kick in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw with leaders Leyton Orient.

His latest strike will add to the clamour for his signature when the transfer window reopens in just over a fortnight.

City remain keen to offer Wells a lucrative extension to his contract, which has 18 months to run, but have not been able to pin him down for talks.

A host of clubs have been linked with the Bermuda ace but Parkinson hopes the Valley Parade hierarchy will rebuff any bids – unless they are too big to refuse.

“I’ve said all along that I want to keep our best players at the club,” said the City chief. “I want to do that and improve on what we’ve got because we’re in a tough division.

“It’s very, very competitive and ideally I don’t want to weaken what we’ve got.

“My hope is that there’s not a level of offer for him which the board will accept and we can keep him.

“I’m also realistic. If there is an offer that is so good for him and the club we might have to look elsewhere but my thoughts are that, fingers crossed, we can keep him.

“It was a top class free-kick but he practices those. They don’t come overnight. He’s worked at that ever since he’s been at the club.”

Wells’ last-gasp equaliser made it five draws in six for the Bantams at the start of a four-game run against sides above them in the promotion race.

They have now gone five without a win at Valley Parade but Parkinson praised the response after City fell behind for the third home game running.

Lloyd James had fired Leyton Orient in front just before half-time – from their only shot on target.

Parkinson added: “We’re having a period, especially at home, when teams are scoring against the run of play. But it was a great goal.

“I asked Jon McLaughlin afterwards ‘have you had a save to make?’ He hadn’t.

“I know we’re in a higher division this year and teams get one chance and take it.

“But my experience tells me that if we keep playing the way we do, we might have a spell where we score against the run of play.

“We might get a spectacular goal and probably don’t deserve it. There are swings and roundabouts throughout the course of the season."

Parkinson was once again left cursing the absence of a home penalty. City felt there were three cases for a spot-kick, particularly early on when Wells was nudged over by Romain Vincelot.

Parkinson said: “People will say they’ve heard it all before and I’ve mentioned it every week. But the way we play in terms of pinning teams in and getting a lot of balls in and around the box, I just don’t know how we’ve not had more penalties.

“To only get one (this season) is strange. It doesn’t seem right given the amount of dominance we’ve had in games.”