MARK Yeates revealed that extra time on the training ground was behind his free-kick masterclass.

Yeates saved City from a fourth league loss on the bounce at Valley Parade with a sublime set-piece in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Port Vale.

It was the Irishman’s first goal of the season – and he credited Phil Parkinson for giving him extra dead-ball work during the week.

Yeates said: “The gaffer had a few of us practising free-kicks for the last couple of days so I was starting to get my range.

“I wasn’t striking balls properly a lot of last season because of my knee but it feels much better now. I stepped up there and felt confident.

“I scored quite a few for Colchester from that distance so I felt I could stick it in. To be honest, I was disappointed not to do better with the other one in the second half.

“But it’s nice to get a goal and put in a good performance.”

City number two Steve Parkin reckons Yeates is starting to show his true form after a difficult first year at the club.

He said: “The one thing about Yeatesy is that he never shies away from having the football. Whether he’s having a good game or a bad one, he always wants the ball.

“He showed a lot of character out there. He got a little bit of stick just before the free-kick but was bold enough to step up; it was real ‘heart on the sleeve’ stuff.

“He’s had a real positive attitude since coming back for pre-season and has got himself really fit.

“Things have not always gone for him but he’s had an assist and a goal so far in the two home games he’s played.”

City have already been beaten at home by Peterborough, Yeovil and Swindon and found themselves behind early on to a contentious penalty.

They were furious when referee Seb Stockbridge punished Rory McArdle for handling as he threw himself in the way of a Louis Dodd shot.

Yeates cancelled out the Chris Lines spot-kick on the stroke of half-time and City picked up after the break without forcing a second.

The Bantams midfielder added: “I thought we played very well for the first 20 minutes of the second half. It was a pity we didn’t get a goal then because we would definitely have gone on to win.

“The lads showed good courage to keep going and getting on the ball. We dug in and it was a good point.

“Home form has been a bit iffy but some seasons that happens. Other times you might be great at home and people wonder why you’re so bad away.

“It’s a really tight group in there and we’re disappointed we couldn’t get the win but we’re not that far off.

“It’s important we keep doing what we are in training and believing that what we’re doing is right.

“We’re unbeaten for three league games on the spin now so there are positives to take.”