League Cup quarter-finalists Bradford City were held to a goalless draw by Chesterfield in front of their lowest league crowd of the season – 8,841 – in a game of few chances.
Bradford, who beat Wigan Athletic on penalties to reach the last eight and set up a lucrative home tie against Arsenal, had the better opportunities, but could not break through a strong visitors’ defence.
In fact, their only shot on target came in the ninth minute when speedy winger Zavon Hines was brought down just outside the penalty area and keeper Richard O’Donnell was forced to dive full length to turn skipper Gary Jones’ free kick way for a corner.
They also had a good chance in the 22nd minute, when Will Atkinson was left with a clear shot on goal from just inside the box, but, in trying to find the corner of the net, he sent his shot wide.
Chesterfield, fresh from their 6-1 FA Cup win over Hartlepool, caused an anxious moment for the Bradford defence three minutes after half-time when Sam Togwell split the cover with a through pass for Scott Boden, but keeper Matt Duke just beat him to the ball before 20-year-old defender John Egan, making his debut for City after signing on loan from Sunderland, saw his header fly over the cross bar.
Substitute Alan Connell fired wide in the 82nd minute following a great run and pass from leading scorer Nahki Wells before Chesterfield substitute Chris Atkinson forced Duke to dive full length to save his close range header from Tendayi Darikwa’s cross.
Bradford City: Duke, Darby, McArdle, Egan, Meredith, Hines Forsyth 82 mins), Doyle, G Jones, Atkinson, Wells, Thompson Connell 68mins). Unused substitutes: McLaughlin (gk), Baker, McHugh, R Jones, Brown.
Chesterfield: O’Donnell, Forbes, Smith, Hird, Randall (C Atkinson 59mins), Clay, Togwell, Whitaker (Ridehalgh 63mins), Darikwa, Boden (Westcarr 72mins), Talbot. Unused substitutes: Mason (gk), Lester, Hazel, Evans.
Referee: S Attwell (Nuneaton).