LADY Luck may have blown her chances of appearing on Kevin Bond's Christmas card list this year.

Since taking over as Cherries manager six weeks ago, Bond has certainly had his fair share of misfortune.

It started with an unjust defeat against mediocre Millwall and was followed by a collective off day against rampant Rotherham.

Then came the costly defensive blunders at Tranmere and Swansea before an abysmal refereeing decision led to the Carlisle calamity.

To compound Bond's woes, key players have been dropping like flies while others are only just taking their first steps on the road to recovery.

The tide appeared to have turned on Saturday when Bradford - who never win without Dean Windass - had their talisman sent off after just 13 minutes.

Enter Donovan Ricketts, an enigmatic 6ft 4ins goalkeeper who decided to have one of his better days and singled-handedly denied Bond his first league win as boss.

The 29-year-old Jamaican pulled off a series of fine saves to frustrate Cherries as their winless league run was extended to 12 games at Valley Parade.

Cherries had much in common with the Bantams. Neither team had won in the league since September, both recorded 4-0 triumphs in their FA Cup first round ties and both had collected their last league point from a 0-0 draw with Northampton in early October.

Although the formbook hardly pointed to a classic, the struggling League One rivals battled out an absorbing stalemate with Windass's red card, Ricketts's heroics and Cherries' wayward finishing the main topics of discussion.

Following Windass's demise, Ricketts was Cherries' nemesis, the pick of the goalkeeper's saves coming in the 87th minute when he dived full length to his right to clutch Danny Hollands's left-footed effort from close range.

"I got a good connection and thought it was in," lamented Hollands. "But the goalkeeper made a great save.

"That was the story of the whole game though because we missed a lot of chances, me in particular.

"I had an off-day in front of goal and we should have come away with the three points. My shooting was way off target. Everyone has a bad day and I should have won it for the team by putting away that chance.

"We peppered them and I don't know how we didn't put the ball in the back of the net. We had chance after chance and didn't concede so it was two points dropped rather than one gained. We just can't buy a goal at the moment and it's really frustrating."

Bond made three changes to the Cherries starting line-up with new loan signings Simon Gillett and Matthew Connolly drafted in along with Karl Broadhurst. Connolly and Broadhurst formed a defensive triumvirate with Neil Young.

Neil Moss was called on twice in the early stages, the Cherries goalkeeper racing off his line to smother at the feet of David Graham and then saving a low drive from the same player.

Windass wasted a free kick when he drove his effort straight at Cherries' defensive wall before James Hayter's snap shot flashed narrowly wide.

Veteran striker Windass then received his marching orders following his dreadful two-footed lunge on Young. The 37-year-old compounded his vicious assault by trying to protest his innocence after referee David Foster had shown the red card.

Bantams captain David Wetherall quickly arrived on the scene and ushered the disgraced Windass towards the dressing room. Young was able to continue following a lengthy spell of treatment from Cherries physio Steve Hard.

Windass's departure was the cue for Cherries to assume control. Hollands, Gillett and Jack Cork dominated the midfield exchanges, while indefatigable wing-backs Stephen Purches and Ryan Bertrand hugged the touchlines and delivered a succession of crosses.

As Cherries looked to turn the screw, Hollands's sweetly-struck volley flew inches wide after Steve Fletcher had cushioned Connolly's hoisted through ball into his path 20 yards from goal.

And Fletcher then glanced Gillett's whipped centre over the top before Ricketts was forced to beat away Purches's stinging shot midway through the first half.

A slick build up down the right between Cork and Purches ended with Fletcher failing to make contact with Purches's teasing cross.

Another Purches assist led to Cherries creating the clearest chance of the opening period when Gillett's bullet header came crashing back off the upright in the 35th minute.

The inspirational Young posted his contender for tackle of the season when he stopped Jermaine Johnson in his tracks as the talented frontrunner looked to go clear.

Moss easily saved Johnson's effort at the start of the second half before Gillett's powerful rising drive just cleared the angle of post and crossbar at the other end.

On 55 minutes, Hayter's defence-splitting pass teed up Hollands just inside the 18-yard box, but Ricketts got down smartly to his right to block the midfielder's drive.

The lively Johnson ended a weaving run with a right-foot drive which went just past the post before Ricketts saved acrobatically from Connolly's crosshot.

Ricketts again excelled when he tipped Cork's spectacular 30-yarder over the crossbar after 64 minutes before the lanky Jamaican saved his best until last when he thwarted Hollands.

Deep into stoppage time, Bertrand spurned a decent opportunity after opting to take aim from an acute angle when perhaps a cross may have reaped better dividends.