Manager Phil Brown praised the character of his side as Southend came from behind to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at second-placed Bradford.

Manager Phil Brown hails Southend after securing point at Bradford

Manager Phil Brown hails Southend after securing point at Bradford

Anthony Wordsworth scored a 54th-minute equaliser after on-loan striker Marc McNulty had given Bradford the lead after 36 minutes with his first goal for the club.

Brown said: "We were well in the game at half-time despite going behind and we were the better team in the second half, had most of the play and we should have won the game.

"I was delighted with the away performance and the players are delighted too - they are flying.

"Bradford is a difficult place to come to with a hostile crowd and they have been in fantastic form.

"Valley Parade is a bit of a fortress for the new manager and when you come here you have got to show some character to get something from the game. I was delighted with the character we showed away from home.

"Anthony Wordsworth has done a good job. He has worked hard in midfield and got in a brave header to score.

"It was his fourth goal of the season and it will be nice when the strikers start scoring.

"It was a good point, a good performance and probably we should have won the game."

Bradford, who lost their unbeaten record with a 1-0 defeat at Oxford on Saturday, went in front through McNulty.

He raced onto a through pass from Haris Vuckic before shooting past the advancing Marc Oxley and he almost scored a second two minutes later, seeing his first shot blocked and his second deflected over the crossbar.

However, Southend began the second half well, with Nile Ranger forcing a diving save out of Colin Doyle in the 49th minute before they equalised five minutes later.

Ben Coker's left-wing cross was flicked on by former Bradford midfielder Will Atkinson and Wordsworth netted with a close-range header at the far post.

Bradford manager Stuart McCall said: "Southend battled from the first minute and played long balls up to Nile Ranger.

"They had strong boys in the middle of the park, got on to second balls and made it difficult for us. But teams are not going to come here and let us play. Give credit to Southend for stopping us doing what we wanted to do.

"You are always disappointed when you don't win your home games but it was a battle for much of the time.

"We didn't do enough win the game and Southend merited their point.

"We looked good for 20 minutes before half-time and I thought Haris Vuckic was terrific in that spell.

"We scored a goal and twice went close but I was disappointed with the Southend goal. We had enough men to stop the cross and we let the ball go in too easily."