DAVID Hopkin felt City managed the pressure well after claiming their first league win in eight games.

The Bantams remain bottom of League One despite beating Oxford 2-0 with goals from David Ball and Jack Payne.

But they cut the gap on their fifth-bottom opponents to four points in front of a 19,084 home crowd – the biggest of the season.

It was also particularly poignant with the return of Stephen Darby to the club for the first time since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Hopkin said: “It was important today with the crowd and Stephen Darby coming back. I heard the roar at half-time when he came on the pitch – it was an amazing reception.

“I asked the players to make sure the crowd got with us and we scored two goals quite close to each other which settled us down. We managed the game superbly.

“Nothing is done yet but it was important we didn’t get cut adrift. It was a massive pressure-point game.

“If we’d lost today and other teams above us won, it would have been 10 points (to safety) and seven behind everybody else.

“But the players managed the occasion very well. I thought Paul Caddis and Karl Henry have helped us with their experience.”

Hopkin is considering appealing Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s red card after he was sent off for an alleged elbow on Jamie Hanson.

With Anthony O’Connor also facing a ban for his fifth booking, City will be missing both centre halves at Luton on Tuesday.

Hopkin added: “I’ve not seen it again. I thought it was strange at the time and I don’t know what it was for.

“We’ll have a look and try to appeal it if we think it’s one we can win.

“From getting a good result, we’re going into a very tough game away to Luton with two centre backs out.”

Midfielder Karl Henry came straight into the team for his first game for six months – only 24 hours after signing a short-term deal.

Hopkin said: “He’s 36 this week and to not play a game since last season and come in and give a performance was a big ask.

“But he’s played at the top level and you could see that with his positional sense.

“We needed somebody who could marshal the midfield. Jim O’Brien had played 120 minutes (on Tuesday) and he’s been out for a long time too.

“I watched Karl in training yesterday and knew his adrenaline would get him through it.

“His experience and talking with the other players would help them out and you’ve seen that.”