The Bantams were held to a goalless draw by National League outfit Aldershot Town, meaning the two sides will do it all again a week on Tuesday in a replay at the Coral Windows Stadium. Town had a notable chance in the first half with Ben Williams having to be at his best to keep out Jim Stevenson’s shot. It was one way traffic in the second half, however, with City pushing for a winner. The recalled Billy Clarke had an effort well saved by Aldershot 'keeper Phil Smith as the hosts hung on for a draw.
The hosts, as expected, were clearly up for it with the prospect of a Football League scalp in their view. Charlie Walker looked lively up top for the hosts and after he robbed Gary Liddle of possession early in the first half, it took a vital intervention from Reece Burke to make sure he didn’t have a clear run on goal.
The next chance of note also belonged to Aldershot; Jim Stevenson lofted the ball into the path of Charlie Walker and he nodded the ball down into the path of the former Luton Town man and his attempt from outside the area took a slight deflection and went narrowly wide of the target and behind for a corner.
Stevenson clearly fancied his chances with long range attempts and his next one was better than the first; a bouncing ball fell kindly to him and he rasped a 25 yard shot on the half volley towards goal and Ben Williams had to tip the ball round the post at full stretch to deny the home side a first half lead.
City had an appeal for a penalty against a handball before the half was out. As Tony McMahon floated a free kick into the area, Rory McArdle headed the ball back across the area, leading to Clarke and Reece Burke trying to scramble home.
Richard Brodie appeared to move his upper arm towards the ball but no penalty was given, with Billy Knott eventually having a shot from the edge of the area headed behind for a corner by Omar Beckles.
The Bantams started the second half on the front foot and Billy Clarke, in for his first start since August, forced a great save from Phil Smith after turning expertly away from his marker inside the 18 yard box and getting his shot away.
Devante Cole was introduced as a substitute in the latter stages for the Irishman, and his first opportunity was a decent one; after latching onto James Hanson’s knocked down, he turned in the area but his shot lacked the power to beat Phil Smith who held onto the ball alertly.
One last chance to break down the Shots didn’t quite come to fruition as McArdle headed McMahon’s corner to the near post over the crossbar as the Emirates FA Cup tie came to a close with honours even at the EBB Stadium.