Marc McNulty’s first goal for the Bantams was cancelled out in the second half by Southend’s Anthony Wordsworth.
The Bantams made a quick start in front of their home fans and Matthew Kilgallon came inches short of connecting with Rory McArdle’s near post flick on after just four minutes.
Newcastle United loanee Haris Vuckic then curled a free-kick narrowly wide on 28 minutes before Marshall had a goal ruled out for offside.
The forward momentum was all with Bradford and McNulty and Cullen both drilling shots wide.
It was no surprise that Stuart McCall’s side took the lead with ten minutes to go until the break as McNulty latches onto Vuckic’s through ball and coolly finished.
Southend hit back nine minutes into the second when Wordsworth tapped home from close range after Coker’s cross was flicked on by Atkinson.
Neither side could force a winner in the remaining half an hour as Bradford gained a point on league leaders Scunthorpe, who lost 2-0 against struggling Oldham.