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Phil Parkinson was sent off as City claimed three huge points at promotion-chasing Leyton Orient.
The Bantams boss watched the second half from the directors’ box following a half-time altercation with O’s number two Kevin Nugent.
But he must have been delighted with what he saw as City scrapped their way to a crucial victory, secured by Orient old boy Aaron Mclean.
Stephen Darby set the tone defensively with a crucial early block from a goal-bound shot by Kevin Lisbie before City’s back four were rocked by an injury to Adam Drury.
But within six minutes of Carl McHugh taking over at left back, it was the visitors who had the lead.
Gary Jones pumped their first corner deep and Mclean eluded his marker Gary Sawyer to knock home his second goal for the club.
City had the chance for a second when Adam Reach led a three-man break but debutant Jon Stead’s shot was blocked.
They had a scare right on half-time when Dean Cox drove against the arm of Andrew Davies, who had already been booked.
But referee David Phillips had already blown for the break – sparking the heated scenes between the rival coaching staff in the tunnel.
City predictably came under increasing pressure in the second half. But they battled away to keep Orient at arm’s length with Shaun Batt’s curler past the post the only serious threat.
Big header out from Bates - and there's the whistle!!
Make that 60 seconds and counting...
No panic as Reach drives upfield and heads for the corner flag...
Remember what happened in those four minutes at Shrewsbury...
Four added minutes!
City corner gives them a chance to kill some clock but Mclean header well wide. That's his last touch as he is replaced by Bates
Thompson threatens again - and again Jones blocks with his legs
City fans trying to sing their team home to three big points. Three minutes to go of normal time
Chance for City to seal it as Jones angles pass for Thompson. But his well-struck cross-shot is blocked by keeper's legs
Soft booking for Reach for clip on Cuthbert. Ref gives in to the crowd there
Air kick from Batt as the siege continues.
Sloppy pass from Dolan gifts Orient possession in City half but that man Davies flies into Batt to make the tackle and ball is hacked away
Orient get closer as Batt curls just past post from the edge of the box
Orient make final sub, Lisbie replaced by one-time City loanee Chris Dagnall
McLaughlin does well to punch out dangerous free-kick by James
There will be some sore heads in the morning. City have headed out that many balls - and not finished yet
Orient crowd roaring their team forward. But play stopped as Thompson replaces Stead
Praying we hold on.... #Safety #Bcafc— @LBowers1990 29 March 2014
Darby does enough to put off Cox at the back post from Odubajo's cross...
Batt immediately shows McHugh a clean pair of heels to cut into box but Davies is across with a huge sliding block
Russell Slade makes a double change: Batt for Mooney and Lloyd James, who scored that stunner at Valley Parade, for Lundstram
Orient's eighth corner of the game and it beats everyone.
City are defending like beavers as Chris Kamara would say....
Long way to go though
"Leeds are falling apart again" is the song of choice from the sun worshippers in the away stand...
Jones 25-yarder beaten away by Jones... Gary denied by Jamie
McHugh in trouble here though after a reckless tackle on Odubajo. City's third booking in the back four
McHugh bulldozes his way to win a City corner and ease the pressure. Then he gets on the end of Jones's kick but cannot keep the header down...
Crowd is 5,165 with 626 City fans
Great sliding tackle by McHugh on Odubajo as Orient continue to apply the pressure
McArdle follows his fellow centre half into the book for obstructing Mooney..
Manager sat next to David Baldwin in the directors' box as Orient turn up the pressure with another corner...
The row was over the penalty that Orient felt they should have had if the ref hadn't blown for half-time
Hearing that Phil Parkinson and Orient assistant manager Kevin Nugent were both sent off after a bust-up in the tunnel!
And we're ready to go again...
Word of warning.... Orient have the best record in the division at coming back after conceding first. They have only lost five of the 15 previous games when they've gone 1-0 down
Ref David Phillips gave City a break there. But then he is the official who had two red cards overturned at Bristol Rovers last year
Cox brushes off McArdle and fires in fierce shot at goal. Davies blocks with his arm but the ref has already blown for half-time....
Mooney volleys straight into Darby as fourth official says two minutes of stoppages to go
Dolan shoots wide from 25 yards
City shout in vain for a push on Stead in the box...
Baudry heads over from Ness' inswinging free-kick...
Booking for Davies as he drags down Lisbie
Lot of defending will need to be done but the home crowd have gone very quiet
Different game now as Reach leads a three-pronged City charge. But he opts for wrong way to Stead instead of unmarked Bennett
Well, well, well...
Corner number two for City - and goal number one!
Jones hits it deep and MCLEAN is beyond the far post to turn in his second goal for the club...
Snap shot from Reach but he screws it well wide
Spell of O's pressure but McLaughlin recovers to claim from Cuthbert after struggling with Cox cross
Stead almost in for a debut goal at one end from McHugh's long pass ... then Orient break with Odubajo whipping a very dangerous ball across the City six-yard box
Interesting that McHugh got the nod and not Bates, especially against the pace of Odubajo on Orient's right wing
Jones finally takes the corner after the change and clears everybody
Bad news as Drury limps off after 21 minutes. On comes McHugh... that left-back problem again!
The away volume is turned up as City threaten - and win their first corner
Might ask the fella on his balcony in the flats next door to put the kettle on
Lisbie links neatly with Cox on Orient left before trying outside-of-the-boot shot. It finishes outside of the post...
Drury heads for the sideline with physio Matt Barrass. Should be able to carry on
Mooney blocked off by Darby before Ness lashes high and wide. More worryingly for City, Drury is down after challenge from the corner
Orient's fourth corner...
Little spell of pressure from City instigated by Bennett. Dolan did well to keep the move alive but Mclean flagged offside when ball breaks to him
Stephen Darby clears one off the line away from home nearly every week #bcafc— @JHoyle93 29 March 2014
Clarke gets his head to Ness corner but it's past the far post
Reach gives away a corner - Orient's third already
Mooney left in a heap by McArdle and gets up gingerly
From this penthouse-style press perch, you get a great view of Darby crunching into a tackle
Crucial block from Darby to keep out Lisbie shot after McArdle clears straight to the Orient striker on the edge of the box.
McLaughlin a bit hesitant there to come for a bouncing ball
Cox corner flicked wide by Lisbie. No danger for City there
Under 30 seconds gone and Orient have a corner
Stead's first touch as a City player gets us going..
Good noise from the away fans to greet City's arrival
"I predict a riot" plays as the teams appear.... I'd happily settle for a 0-0 draw personally
Glorious day down in Orient with the #bcafc boys. What could possibly spoil this? Oh yes, of course, the game starts soon— @andrewhebden 29 March 2014
City fans are enjoying the sunshine in their stand on the other side of the pitch. Bit of a difference to Shrews-brrrrry last week!
Parker, Parker, give us a wave! @ParkerTandA #bcafc #lofc http://t.co/dVMfNja3Ak— @Gav_The_Bantam 29 March 2014
@ParkerTandA who chooses which posts get onto the T&A live blog thing...been trying for weeks to see if any of mine get on there! #saddo— @bradford54321 29 March 2014
On paper Stead and Mclean is a strong force up top... Whether it gets displayed on the pitch is another matter! #bcafc— @Adz_Con 29 March 2014
Everton midfielder John Lundstram comes straight in for Leyton Orient after Marvin Bartley's injury in midweek.
Goalkeeper Jamie Jones makes his first start since before Christmas.
Former City loanee Chris Dagnall is among their subs
LEYTON ORIENT: Jones, Sawyer, Cuthbert, Baudry, Cox, Lisbie, Mooney, Odubajo, Clarke,Lundstram, Ness. Subs: Omozusi, James, Larkins, Batt, Lasimant, Dagnall, Simpson.
Peter Taylor is at Orient today. #bcafc— @Gav_The_Bantam 29 March 2014
As expected, Jon Stead makes his debut on loan from Huddersfield with no James Hanson or Andy Gray.
Matty Dolan also comes back in for Matthew Bates as central midfield partner to skipper Gary Jones.
With five loanees included in the 16, Chris Atkinson and Arron Jameson are replaced on the bench by youth-team players Jack Stockdill and Jack Bentley.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Drury, Bennett, Dolan, Jones, Reach, Mclean, Stead. Subs: Thompson, Yeates, Bates, McHugh, De Vita, Stockdill, Bentley.
Waiting for the team news but Stead will obviously make his debut in place of Hanson up front.
I also expect Dolan to return to central midfield alongside Jones
Congrats to #bcafc youth team winning 1-0 in the area final! Great game well deserved #thefuture— @cupcakekate74 29 March 2014
City players are having a look at the pitch. No James Hanson out there
Steve Thornber's youngsters, who also wrapped up the league with three games to spare, now face the southern winners in the Grand Final.
They will be up against either Colchester or Portsmouth.
City have had a winning start to the day with the under-18s beating Hull 1-0 at Valley Parade to win the northern section of the Youth Alliance Cup.
RT @ParkerTandA: Its a long way down #pressboxvertigo http://t.co/VFXhQ7cE8b— @joshuatoothill 29 March 2014
Good afternoon and welcome from a sunny East London. It's a glorious day - a complete contrast to Shrewsbury last Saturday - and let's hope the football from the Bantams is much brighter.
Two poor performances and back-to-back defeats have got City looking nervously beneath them once again.
Leyton Orient also got booed off in midweek and have won only once in five. But they are still only three points of the second automatic spot in third place.