MAY 2011: CITY 1 (Speight pen 23) CREWE 5 (Miller 12, 32; Donaldson 34; Shelley 45, 67)

THE prospect of pairing the likes of Clayton Donaldson and latest capture James Vaughan up front is a mouth-watering one for City fans.

Maybe the shock of dropping back into League Two won’t feel quite so painful with such established names among the raft of summer signings brought in by Gary Bowyer.

Vaughan’s arrival has opened eyes having started the last two seasons in the Championship.

Donaldson’s a few weeks ago seemed to be written in the stars for a striker born a stone’s throw away from Valley Parade in Manningham.

The 35-year-old always expected he would one day sign for the club who released him as a trainee during the Premier League time.

He has often been linked with a return and was publicly courted by Peter Jackson in the summer of 2011 before joining Brentford.

Donaldson had already inflicted embarrassment on Jackson and City during his first senior Valley Parade outing – the subject of this week’s look back.

It was the most painful of afternoons for the Bantams at the end of a season which saw them limp home seventh from bottom in the bottom division. It was the lowest finishing position since 1966.

At the time, their heaviest defeat on home soil in eight seasons potentially threatened to be an embarrassing farewell with talk of a switch to Odsal because of increasing financial pressures.

It made for a bittersweet occasion for Donaldson and his 30-strong contingent of family and friends watching him for the first time at the ground where he had grown up dreaming of playing.

Donaldson, whose younger brother was one of the mascots, had plenty of sympathy for his hometown team afterwards. There had been precious little during a game which Crewe ran away with as it went on.

Dario Gradi’s side had not won a single away point for four months – a run of 11 straight losses on the road. Until they pitched up in BD8.

Donaldson’s goal from a vicious shot on the turn was his 28th of the campaign to clinch the division’s Golden Boot. His partnership with Shaun Miller, boosted by three more at City’s expense, rattled up 47 – four more than the Bantams had managed in total.

Miller began the carnage after a mistake from David Syers, who undercooked a back pass towards Luke Oliver. The lanky centre half was done by a fortuitous bounce and the Crewe man flicked over a stranded Jon McLaughlin before converting.

City responded well and after James Hanson smacked a post, Jake Speight levelled from the penalty spot after being felled by David Artell. Then the wheels rolled off.

Miller restored Crewe’s lead from Byron Moore’s cross at the end of a cutting counter-attack from a home corner.

They had struck again within two minutes as a loose clearance ricocheted to Miller. He teed up Donaldson and the confident finish rewarded his personal entourage and secured the individual scoring honours.

McLaughlin denied Donaldson another before half-time but then suffered his own nightmare, allowing Danny Shelley’s speculative shot to dribble through his grasp for number four.

Jackson took off Hanson and Omar Daley at the break in a damage-limitation exercise. But Crewe still had one more goal in their locker.

Jon Worthington appeared to handled Matt Tootle’s shot but Shelley played on amid the appeals to slot in number five.

CITY: McLaughlin, Hunt, Oliver, Bullock, Threlfall, Daley (O’Brien 46), Syers, Worthington, Rowe, Speight, Hanson (Flett 46).

CREWE: Taylor, Mitchell-King, Artell (Davis 73), Dugdale, Tootle, Moore, Westwood, Bell, Shelley (Sarcevic 87), Donaldson, Miller.

REFEREE: Graham Salisbury.