CITY’S winning run was halted after a battle of attrition in the Black Country.

A fourth successive victory would have lifted them level on points with third-placed Stevenage.

But with Steve Evans looking on ahead of his side’s weekend clash with Walsall, Mark Hughes’ men could not find a breakthrough despite keeping a fifth clean sheet in six outings.

That defensive resilience ensured another point to the tally but Andy Cook will be cursing not scoring for the third visit on the trot to the club that launched his league career after his header hit the bar.

Despite having 10 efforts at goal, City could not get one on target.

Hughes and Cook went into the game having been nominated for the manager and player of the month awards following City’s fruitful February.

But this is here and now time where there can be no dwelling on what has gone. It’s all about the next game and the next point in the mad scramble to finish in the top seven at least - if not higher.

Hughes resisted the temptation to make any changes for a fixture where the Bantams had won on their previous three visits.

It was the fourth game in a row that City had lined up with same 11, although Tolaji Bola was added to the bench as Emmanuel Osadebe missed out against his old club after taking a knock against Colchester.

Walsall had not won in the league since New Year’s Day and skipper Donervon Daniels admitted it was “either a gift or curse” as Michael Flynn’s men looked for a reaction.

Flynn made four changes after Walsall were booed off in the home loss to Barrow. Yann Songo’o was not allowed to face his former club.

The home despondency was clear with the amount of empty seats around the ground. City’s 750-strong following were in good voice from the off.

But Walsall did make the brighter start with Tom Knowles posing a threat on the right flank.

He seized on a loose pass from Matty Platt but pulled his cross back behind the two strikers and also gave City plenty to think about with a series of long throw-ins into the mix.

That seemed to be the pattern of the opening quarter of the game, Knowles hurling it high towards the goal-mouth and, invariably, a City head dealing with it.

Cook had sorted several of them as he waited for the chance to cause some damage at the other end.

That arrived on 25 minutes as Brad Halliday clipped an inviting ball into the middle which Cook met with a looping header that bounced back off the bar with Owen Evans beaten.

It was a warning for the hosts, who had enjoyed the best of the possession up to that point, about the potent threat facing them.

Walsall responded with their first effort at goal as Conor Wilkinson, having just been thwarted to a Knowles flick-on by Liam Ridehalgh, then found room for a low drive that Harry Lewis turned round the post.

Jamie Walker swapped passes with Halliday and set off on an angled run to the edge of the Walsall box but his left-foot effort flew wide. Cook, meanwhile, was fuming not to get a penalty after going down under Daniels.

As the tempo continued to pick up, Lewis had to deal with an awkward bouncing free-kick from Knowles.

Walker had another opportunity with his left foot from a similar position to before - and skied it well over.

But the home crowd were getting into it as Isaac Hutchinson warmed Lewis’ hands once more with a thumping drive just before the break.

Walsall came out firing from the restart as Brandon Comley’s shot was deflected behind and Lewis saved from Knowles.

Cook was getting plenty of stick from the locals and that got louder when he miscued a volley from Halliday’s cross high into the away end.

City again were forced into plenty of defending but impressive duo Platt and Sam Stubbs stood up to pretty much everything being pinged into them.

Hughes waited until 75 minutes to make his first changes as Scott Banks and Ryan East replaced Adam Clayton, who had taken a knock, and Alex Gilliead. Banks immediately brought more width to City’s right side.

Striker Douglas James-Taylor came on for the hosts and almost got on the end of an inviting cross from Knowles that flew across goal.

As the time ticked away, East dragged a first-timer bobbling wide. Then Banks was tripped by Daniels in the Walsall D - but the winger scooped the free-kick into the City fans.

Lewis smothered one final long throw before Walker won a late corner - which Cook headed over to the disappointment of the boisterous support behind the goal.