City’s under-18s drew their second consecutive league game on Saturday, recording a 0-0 stalemate at home to EFL Youth Alliance North East title rivals Hartlepool.
A developmental City side - consisting mainly of first-year apprentices and under-16s trialists – battled admirably in a tightly contested match to keep a fifth home clean sheet on the spin.
In a game of very few clear-cut opportunities, it was the visitors who started the brighter, with Luca Murphy’s free kick sailing just over after Bradley Fox was brought down.
However, the young Bantams outfit dealt with the early pressure comfortably, taking control of the game as the half went on.
The second period was a breathless affair as City went in search of the game’s opener.
But the visitors still provided a threat on the break and went agonisingly close after Harrison Webster’s lung-bursting run and pull-back was missed by two lurking attackers.
City pressed for a would-be winning goal and were presented with a golden opportunity with five minutes left.
Substitute Reece Staunton looked to play Kielen Adams through and, as the ball broke for him, the towering forward opted for power rather than placement and - one-on-one with the goalkeeper - lashed the only real chance of the game wide.
Mark Trueman’s side are still just a point off top spot, in third, and, after travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a friendly on March 9, return to league action at home to Notts County the week after.
CITY: Alfie Darke; Hayden Smethurst, Jorge Sikora, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Dan Francis (Jeremie Milambo 68’); Kian Scales (Connor Shanks 57’), Taylor Kelly; Wade Ripley (Ezio De Santis 73’), Eliot Goldthorp (booked 31’) (Reece Staunton 80’), Izaac Larbi (Eddy Prata 53’); Kielen Adams.
HARTEPOOL: Bradley Young; Lucas Bell (Eithne Taylor HT), Brook Miller, Luca Murphy, Harrison Webster; Bradley Fox, Daniel Boyle (booked 75’), Connor Rennison (Liam Pritchard 66’); Coleby Shepherd, Aaron Willoughby, Jack Leonard. Subs (not used): Jack Naylor, Oliver Thompson.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Taylor Kelly.