AUGUST 2007: CITY 2 (E Johnson 49, Medley 78) WREXHAM 1 (Roberts 54)

THE FIXTURES land this week to confirm City’s return to the League Two landscape.

Not that any supporters need reminding that the club are set to start again in the basement division six years on from the Wembley promotion.

They will be praying that City’s stay in the fourth tier is nowhere near as prolonged as the last time when it took six attempts to get out.

Nobody had expected that when the Bantams were first relegated in 2007 and Stuart McCall was announced as manager to herald a new era.

But it proved a tough baptism for the rookie boss and his team as they finished well adrift of the play-offs, let alone promotion places.

Highlights that first season back at the bottom level were few and far between. But McCall’s first win in management, in his third league game, provided a memorable one – and the most unexpected of heroes.

The Valley Parade regulars could have been excused for forgetting what victory felt like.

City had failed to win since before Christmas as they plummeted to the drop then the McCall reign, boosted by the extra numbers from the revolutionary new cut-price ticketing scheme, began with a scrambled 1-1 draw against Macclesfield.

The frustration was clear as Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, scorer of the opening-day equaliser, crashed a rising shot against the bar. Every game up to that point had seen the Bantams foiled by the woodwork.

Wrexham keeper Anthony Williams turned away an effort from Paul Evans and Kyle Nix flashed a header across goal from a move he had begun.

But the ice was broken four minutes into the second half. Nix shepherded the ball along the edge of the penalty area and Eddy Johnson, the striker still getting to grips with a deeper midfield role, whisked his lay-off into the net with a crisp finish.

Pressure lifted, City went close to a second as Mark Bower’s header was cleared off the line by Ryan Valentine.

Then came the sucker punch. Donovan Ricketts denied the diving Danny Williams but City failed to clear the resulting corner properly and Michael Proctor’s cross was nodded in by Neil Roberts.

McCall responded by throwing untried rookie Luke Medley up front in place of Barry Conlon. The youngster had pace and his manager told him to go and use it behind the fullbacks.

But nobody could have expected such a spectacular impact within two minutes.

Medley, following orders to the letter, chased Nix’s floated pass behind right back Valentine and, as the ball sat up nicely, unleashed a thumping drive that flew over a disbelieving keeper and into the top corner.

It was the ultimate Andy Warhol moment for the young Londoner, his 15 minutes of fame with an unforgettable first touch in senior football to seal McCall’s first hot-seat success.

Medley almost had another late on with a looping effort over the bar but he had done the damage.

That would be as good as it got for the striker in City colours. He joined Barnet the following summer and then drifted into non-league.

City would finish that season in 10th and 16 points adrift of the last play-off spot.

But Wrexham had it much worse as they were condemned to bottom spot to end an 87-year stay in the Football League – and have been unable to clamber their way back since.

CITY: Ricketts, Darren Williams (Ainge 22), Wetherall, Bower, Heckingbottom, Daley, E Johnson, Evans, Nix, Ndumbu-Nsungu (Phelan 82), Conlon (Medley 76).

WREXHAM: A Williams, Spender, Pejic, Hope, Valentine, Done (Jones 87), Mackin, Danny Williams (J Johnson 86), Llewellyn, Proctor, Roberts (E Williams 75).

REFEREE: Michael Oliver