BRADFORD City Women saw their perfect start to 2024 end on Sunday, but this was arguably their best performance since the turn of the year, as they drew 2-2 at promotion rivals Wallsend BC.

Without wanting to belittle the Bantams’ run of form, they have had a generous start to the year, with a home walkover win over rock-bottom Harrogate Town followed up by fairly comfortable wins over fellow strugglers Hartlepool United and Hull United.

City were left frustrated last week when their scheduled game against other side in the bottom four, Redcar Town, was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Redcar are struggling badly, as evidenced by their 4-0 defeat at Harrogate at the weekend which saw their hosts move off the foot of the table, so City would have heavily fancied their chances of claiming all three points seven days previously.

Unlike the Bantams and Redcar, Wallsend were in action on the final weekend of January, winning 2-1 at home to Hartlepool to send their visitors to the bottom of the division on goal difference.

Wallsend went into Sunday’s home match against City with a superb record, having won nine and drawn one of their 11 league games to date.

A win would have sent them level on points with Barnsley and Sunderland West End at the summit, but they had to settle for a share of the spoils after a fine performance from Emily Senior’s Bantams side.

Matilda Fernie made her debut for City from the start on Sunday at the age of 16, after her teammate Rebecca Hunt, a talented No.10, injured herself in the warm-up.

City, and teenager Mia Jacobs in particular, made a bright start at the weekend, but it was Wallsend who took the lead after 12 minutes.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mia Jacobs is rarely anything other than a bright spark for the Bantams, and she was a threat for them as usual against Wallsend.Mia Jacobs is rarely anything other than a bright spark for the Bantams, and she was a threat for them as usual against Wallsend. (Image: Alex Daniel.)

Dani Trickett did well initially to stop a counter attack, but the ball came back to the hosts, with Erin Donachie put through one-on-one with Bantams stopper Laura Wilson and slotting it past her for 1-0.

The home side almost made it two soon after but sent a header narrowly wide, before more good defending from Trickett after a breakaway kept them out.

And City started to wrestle back control thereafter, before equalising on the half-hour mark through Kanisha Underdown, who crashed home a brilliant strike from 30 yards out.

Wilson did well to palm away a dangerous corner soon after, as the Bantams reached the break on level terms.

City were the better team at the start of the second half, and on 55 minutes, teenage talent Hannah Markey, in a ferocious wind, swung in a corner that viciously swerved straight into the top corner to give the visitors the lead in extraordinary circumstances.

The Bantams were not ahead for long though, with Jessica White equalising for Wallsend just after the hour mark.

Both sides came close to creating openings as they searched for a late winner, but the best chance fell to the Bantams on 86 minutes, as Fernie and Maria McKenna combined superbly to find Jacobs, whose shot was well saved.

The point saw City drop a place to sixth, and they face another promotion rival this Sunday, when they host fourth-placed Spennymoor Town at Horsfall.