CITY picked off two of the League Two promotion pack as February saw them really gather momentum.

A month that had opened with a first loss for the Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars regime then rolled on merrily with four straight wins.

The pair would be given the full-time job and shortlisted for the manager of the month accolade as fans dismissed any lingering fears at the wrong end of the table and started to dream of gate-crashing the top seven.

The fixture list threw up three encounters with sides already up there in the promotion mix, although it kicked off with a first league defeat since Stuart McCall’s final game in charge at Oldham two months earlier.

Danny Rowe’s late withdrawal through illness hit preparations for the west country but a late reshuffle did not seem to hinder the Bantams as debutants Charles Vernam and Ollie Crankshaw both scored.

But having led twice, the Bantams let it slip in the second half to fall to a 3-2 defeat.

City’s hopes of getting that setback straight out the system were dashed by a further blast of wintry weather.

Their visit to Scunthorpe three days later started okay before the snow fell with a vengeance. It quickly became a blizzard which made conditions farcical – particularly as the Bantams wore their silver kit that blended in with the white landscape – and proceedings were abandoned after half an hour.

Further frustration followed as an icy Valley Parade pitch put paid to the scheduled clash with Salford to leave City kicking their heels once more.

Conditions eased for the rearranged home meeting with Morecambe but City had to do it the hard way to return to winning ways.

Falling behind to a cross-cum-shot that deceived Sam Hornby, Anthony O’Connor levelled on his 100th start for the club before Vernam made it two in two with the decisive second-half effort.

“Morecambe aren’t at the top end of the table by fluke,” said O’Connor. “But in the course of the last 10 games we’ve had good results against teams that are up there.”

That record would be put to the test with a trip to leaders Cheltenham – where City would produce arguably their best performance of the campaign.

Andy Cook’s arrival on loan from Mansfield had been overshadowed by the way fellow window recruit Rowe had hit the ground running.

But the target man seized his chance to take centre stage in Gloucestershire with his first two goals in City colours.

It was a statement-making result from the team and Cook, starting back-to-back games for the first time since November, emphatically answered his critics.

“I’m not being funny, but you don’t lose it,” he grinned afterwards.

The clamour to give Trueman and Sellars the permanent position was answered when they were officially rewarded with deals until the end of next season.

Having masterminded an incredible change of fortunes, there were few if any dissenting voices at their appointment.

Trueman said: “The players have taken to us really well. We are desperate to be successful and will do everything in our power to ensure that is the case.”

A seventh victory in 11 – and 13 points from 15 against teams in the top six – had further raised expectations with two more winnable games to come.

But Leyton Orient proved a stubborn nut to crack at Valley Parade in a low-key encounter.

The visitors were heading towards the point they had come for when Crankshaw was fouled in the box late on and Callum Cooke’s thumping penalty maintained City’s winning run.

The gap to the play-offs was down to six points – and in-form Cooke admitted it was getting more difficult to ignore the growing excitement.

He said: “We take any talk of promotion or whatever and throw it out the window. We will just keep our feet on the ground – but you can’t get away from it and we know we're in a really good position."

That got even better as City signed off the month with a fourth win on the bounce – the club's best run of form since April 2016.

Levi Sutton broke the deadlock at Walsall with an emphatic finish before away-day specialist Cook increased the lead against his former club.

The Saddlers pulled one back to set up a nervy finish but City hung on to reduce the deficit to seventh place to an enticing four points.

The play-offs had suddenly become a realistic ambition.

HIGH POINT: Andy Cook scored twice as City pulled off an impressive win at leaders Cheltenham.

LOW POINT: Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars suffered the first defeat of their reign against Exeter.

LEAGUE TWO: Exeter A 2-3, Morecambe H 2-1, Cheltenham A 2-0, Leyton Orient H 1-0, Walsall A 2-1.