BRADFORD City celebrated a great escape on Saturday afternoon but it was Burnley didn't just give them the key - they opened the prison door.

The Clarets had done the hard work, coming back from behind for the fourth successive League game, albeit against opponents reduced to nine men with 36 minutes to go following red cards for Mark Bower and Danny Cadamarteri.

But the last person you would expect to allow them to snatch a dramatic equaliser would be club skipper Steve Davis, the most consistent defender at the club for the past four years.

It certainly left his manager Stan Ternent as perplexed as he was disappointed.

"You could have Steve Davis in that position a million times and he would never do that," he explained.

"The ball could have gone anywhere but the skip made a mistake that gave them an equaliser right at the death. You can't legislate for a mistake like that.

"But you have got to feel for him a little, it was his first game back for some time and I am sure he won't do that again. It is easy to lay the blame on one person but it is a collective effort."

That was the case and Bradford boss Nicky Law had no doubt that all the Burnley players were responsible for allowing his side to snatch a point.

"They opted to try and keep the ball at the back but they weren't capable of doing that, they weren't good enough," he claimed.

"I never wrote it off with the way we showed commitment and character.

"They had a lot of the ball but they never hurt us, they never went for us. Had they gone for the throat and put us under pressure it might have been different but we kept our shape and we kept going."

The Bradford fans ironically cheered as Burnley knocked the ball about along the back line once they had taken the lead 15 minutes from time and Ternent knows it was two points lost.

"We were 2-1 up and coasting in the last seconds of the game," he said. "We were in complete control and the players seemed happy with 2-1 but we paid the price.

"We needed to be more professional but winning 2-1 would have been a smashing result.

"Bradford had opted for damage limitation and if it had not been for the error we would have said we had done well to kill the game."

Sadly they had not killed it and so Michael Proctor's late goal sparked scenes of celebration probably not matched at the ground since the day they beat Liverpool to remain in the Premiership.

The afternoon had started well for the home side who took the lead in the 18th minute.

Andy Myers and Wayne Jacobs linked well down the left and some sloppy defending by the Clarets ended with Andy Gray firing home from close range.

By then young defender Mark Bower had been booked for a tackle from behind on Dimitri Papadopoulos and when he appeared to pull the young Greek striker back on halfway nine minutes before half time a second yellow meant red was shown by referee Mike Dean.

The home players and fans were absolutely incensed and it was no great surprise that Papadopoulos, 21 the day before, was removed from the firing line in favour of a former Bantams' favourite Robbie Blake.

He was cheered onto the pitch but was jeered from then on as the fans reacted furiously to the dismissal of a second player, this time striker Danny Cadamarteri.

He had missed a golden chance to head Bradford 2-0 up on the stroke of half time but he was never in danger of missing Dean West's face with a flailing elbow in the 54th minute. The fact that Mr Dean wasted no time in showing him a red card suggested he had a perfect view of the incident.

The biggest problem of playing sides with men sent off is often breaking them down but within three minutes the Clarets were level, courtesy of Blake.

He started the move with a pass that preceded a sublime flick by Alan Moore to send Lee Briscoe down the left.

His deep cross reached West beyond the far post and he knocked the ball back to Blake who scored his latest in a host of goals at Valley Parade.

With the scores level it was surely only a matter of time before the 11 men got the better of the nine and as they dominated possession chances came and went.

Blake was at the heart of most things and it was little surprise that he had a part in what looked likely to be the winner.

He collected the ball in acres of space, fed Glen Little on the right and he produced a superb cross that Gareth Taylor powerfully headed home.

It was his first goal of the season, typical of so many he got last year, and with that sort of service he is sure to get many more.

But surely the right time to get more would have been in the last 15 minutes on Saturday.

The Bradford players were running on adrenaline and fighting for their lives, stung by the belief that they had been twice been unfairly treated.

It was not to be, simply because they stopped trying. Keep ball is a legitimate tactic when you are ahead but with two extra men, the killer third should have been the priority.

Davis had come on for the injured Arthur Gnohere which denied Ternent the opportunity to unleash the pace of Ian Moore on a tiring defence but with the other Moore, Blake, Little and Taylor there was enough striking talent to inflict misery on the home side.

It wasn't to be and the nightmare end happened, Davis kicked the ball against sub Claus Jorgensen who was played in by Proctor. He had one shot well saved by Marlon Beresford and then saw his follow-up roll across the line having hit the post.

But the impressive Proctor got a goal he deserved and Burnley ended up getting the result they deserved for their timidity.

Fortune favours the brave - sadly that was Bradford not Burnley!


Scorers: Gray 18, Proctor 89


Scorers: Blake 57, Taylor 75

Attendance...14,561 at Valley Parade