His side created a host of chances against their highly-rated visitors, but some last-gasp defending combined with some wasteful finishing meant they had to settle for a point.
City started strongly despite their recent bad run and they should have taken the lead after just 19 minutes when striker Barry Conlon was guilty of a glaring miss.
Lively winger Kyle Nix picked out the Bantams frontman with a perfect cross from the left, but with only the keeper to beat from six yards, Conlon headed miserably wide of the target.
In fact Conlon came closer to scoring two minutes later when he tried to hook in a left-foot shot over his shoulder after a goalmouth scramble, but even that effort drifted a yard wide of the far post.
Darlington showed little of the form which has put them in the promotion frame and their only first-half chance fell to centre-half Alan White who rose well to meet Clark Keltie's corner but could only head wide.
The home fans were upset by a couple of offside calls which went against City, but they almost took advantage of another tight call when Darren Williams' header found its way to striker Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu inside the visitors box.
The Bantams top-scorer managed to force the ball under keeper Andy Oakes, but Darlington midfielder Micky Cummins got back well to clear the loose ball off the line.
In the dying minutes of the half another inviting Nix cross was nodded down by Conlon, but again City had no-one on hand to add the finishing touch.
Roared on by the large home following City made a fast start to the second period and Oakes did well to tip over a fierce drive from Ndumbu-Nsungu three minutes after the break.
Oakes was then grateful to see his defenders block off Ndumbu-Nsungu in the six-yard box after an Omar Daley shot had run loose.
Darlington substitute Gregg Blundell almost snatched a goal against the run of play after a mistake in the heart of the City defence, but full-back Williams came to the rescue with a vital foot in to block his eight-yard shot.
When Oakes failed to claim a corner on the hour Conlon was given another sight of goal, but White did superbly to get across and block his far post volley.
Oakes then had to throw himself at Conlon's feet as another chance went begging and in a furious climax he was at full stretch to tip an Alex Rhodes drive away.
City piled forward searching for the winner but even Oakes fumbled an over-hit cross and the loose still bounced wide of the empty net.