CITY and Valley Parade could never be described as a marriage made in heaven.

As with any long-standing couple, they have had their ups and downs - some great times as well as those rocky moments when they don’t really like the sight of each other.

The course of true love never runs smooth, particularly with so many visitors determined to rock the boat.

Yet there’s something comforting about being back home as the Bantams found with their return to those familiar surroundings for the first time in 10 weeks.

On the last occasion, they had left a near full house wondering, hoping and dreaming of Wembley and beyond after edging the opening play-off showdown with Carlisle.

Sixty-nine days later, there was a late equaliser to cheer for the 3,411 seeing the first pre-season action in BD8 as we brace ourselves for yet another instalment of League Two.

Like fans Phil Virco and Michelle Edwards who agreed to tie the knot with a pitch-side proposal at half-time, City will be hoping it is all sweetness and light from now on.

We all know the reality ahead - particularly in a division stocked with bigger hitters than before.

But the more front-foot approach that Mark Hughes has encouraged should go down well with home supporters who grew frustrated at times last season by their team’s slowness in possession.

Up to Hull’s goal certainly, there was an edge to City’s press, snapping at the ball higher up the pitch to force turnovers from the rattled Championship side.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andy Cook sits it out as he appeals in vain for a foulAndy Cook sits it out as he appeals in vain for a foul (Image: Tom Pearson)

They won free-kicks and corners - and chances - from that. Andy Cook nodded one Ryan East delivery on to the top of the net while Matt Ingram saved well from Daniel Oyegoke from another.

Hull then took the lead against the run of play, Ozan Tufan finding too much room to reach the byline before cutting back for Regan Slater to finish.

“Goals change games” is one of Hughes’ favourite cliches and it had that effect for the rest of the half as Hull found it too easy to play through City’s midfield and could have stretched their lead.

Jean Michael Seri clipped the bar with a free-kick and Harry Lewis, given the armband until Smallwood came on, was more like his old self after the recent Barnsley conjecture.

He pulled off two good saves after the break, pushing away an effort from the busy Tufan and standing strong when Liam Delap found a gap in the box to block his shot with an outstretched leg.

Hughes put more minutes into City’s starting legs. Ash Taylor and Tyler Smith went off at half-time but the rest of the outfield 11 got past the hour point before the inevitable reshuffle.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A crowd of 3,411 watched City's first home game since MayA crowd of 3,411 watched City's first home game since May (Image: Tom Pearson)

The addition of Richie Smallwood and Alex Gilliead offered more control down the middle and the Bantams were stronger for it.

Bobby Pointon, once again, was a livewire presence in attack as he continues to show real promise.

City will be wary of pushing the 19-year-old former season-ticket holder too much too soon but there is something about him.

His absence from the young line-up that had faced Bradford (Park Avenue) in midweek was a telling sign that Pointon is further up the pecking order than the other rookie pros in the group.

Hull opted for one mass change on 72 minutes as they switched the entire team, including debuts for new recruits Ruben Vinagre and Jason Lokilo.

The momentum was now back with the hosts and Pointon constantly looking to make things happen.

The youngster whipped one juicy ball through the goal-mouth and supplied Clarke Oduor for another chance. Matt Derbyshire also threatened as he flashed a header past the far post.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brad Halliday looks to organise City's defenceBrad Halliday looks to organise City's defence (Image: Tom Pearson)

City earned their late equaliser - even if it did have a helping hand from unconvincing keeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala.

Gilliead’s short free-kick was swung into the box by Smallwood. Lo-Tutala failed to hold Derbyshire’s flick-on and coughed it up at the far post where Stubbs just about beat Luke Hendrie and Hull defender Sean McLoughlin in the stampede to apply the final touch.

A happy ending for the faithful enjoying their first glimpse of City and Valley Parade reunited once more.

There’s another opportunity on Wednesday when Middlesbrough up the pre-season ante a little more before we get down to the real nitty-gritty.

CITY: Lewis, Halliday (Platt 62min), Oyegoke (Hendrie 78min), Taylor (Stubbs 46min), Kelly (Odusina 68min), Ridehalgh Oduor 62min), Pattison (Gilliead 62min), East (Smallwood 62min), Walker (Pointon 62min), Smith (Osadebe 46min), Cook (Derbyshire 62min).

HULL: Ingram, Christie, Jones, Greaves, Fleming, Seri, Slater, Sayyadmanesh, Tufan, Vaughan, Delap.