ANDY Cook has not gone two games without scoring since being restored to the frontline at the start of February.

And there was no chance of the City hot-shot missing out on his 100th league appearance in claret and amber.

Cook’s second-half goal, his 44th for the club in that time, put the seal on a convincing performance that keeps the dream of a top-three finish alive and kicking.

The Bantams are still in sixth spot. But with four of the teams around them drawing, the gap to Stockport in third is just two points - with that game in hand, of course.

Scott Banks got the ball rolling with his fifth goal of the season and Harry Chapman scored a cracker on his recall.

But fittingly it was Cook who provided the emphatic finale - the show of emotion showing how much it meant to him after that rare off-day at Crawley three days earlier.

Mark Hughes had made two changes to the starting 11 following the quick turnaround from the Good Friday game.

The enforced one came from Matty Platt’s two-game ban at the back after his late red card. Romoney Crichlow, who did not travel to Sussex, returned for his first start in 13 games.

Matt Derbyshire also dropped down to the bench after playing just over an hour on Good Friday. Harry Chapman got the nod in his place, lining up on the left of Jamie Walker in support of Cook.

The heavy rain before the game affected the planned flag and scarf parade. The City legends “surfer” had got too wet to be passed across the Kop ahead of kick-off.

City attacked that end first and Cook instantly created some excitement when his header from Liam Ridehalgh’s cross was deflected wide off Ben Goodliffe.

Sutton were without a win in five games and needed the three points just as much as their hosts to maintain their outside interest in the play-offs.

But it was City making the early running with Ridehalgh whipping in another decent ball that Cook met with a firm connection straight at Jack Rose.

The Sutton keeper, though, had no chance with the opening goal on 12 minutes as Banks collected Walker’s pass, got the ball out of his feet and drilled an angled shot into the bottom corner.

It was the winger’s fifth goal of the season - and second against the London side.

With Valley Parade in high spirits, City threatened again as Chapman bamboozled his way beyond Joe Kizzi but Cook swung and missed at his cutback.

The Bantams continued to pile on the pressure with Rose and Cook locked in their own personal battle.

The Kop were on their feet ready to celebrate when Cook connected with a Banks cross - only for Rose to palm it away across goal.

A minute later and again the keeper defied City’s top scorer, sticking out his right leg to prevent a low shot sneaking inside the post.

And when Chapman did manage to round the keeper, there was a defender in front the line to save the day.

Sutton’s defensive doggedness looked to have paid off when they suddenly won a penalty on the half hour. Lee Angol, inevitably, was the victim after being caught by Harry Lewis.

But the former Bantam smashed the spot-kick against the bar - before a booming chorus of “City reject” cascaded from the stands.

Angol stood transfixed, shorts hoiked up in frustration, before burying his head in his hands.

Cook was still itching to get off the mark and glanced wide from another decent delivery from Ridehalgh.

City were good value for their half-time advantage - but the penalty warning showed the danger of a slender lead despite their dominance.

The Bantams began the second half still on the front foot and were camped in Sutton territory.

Walker’s pressing was causing Sutton a headache and he forced a loose pass on the edge of the box. The Scot fed Banks who cut inside on his left foot but then shanked the attempted curler well off course.

Cook was still looking to crown his landmark game with a goal - and could not have come much closer with a header from Brad Halliday’s cross that pinged back off the inside of the post.

But City did not have to wait long for that elusive second - thanks to a superb solo finish from Chapman.

Receiving the ball wide on the left, he made an angled run towards the box before drifting on to his right foot and placing a precise shot inside the far post.

“We’re on our way” was the loud message from the crowd as a party atmosphere descended on the place.

Chapman was almost in again with another weaving run that was eventually thwarted in the six-yard box.

But it was inevitable City would be back for more - and inevitable that it would be Cook.

Alex Gilliead released the striker with an early ball and he held of two defenders to fire into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Omar Bugiel pulled one back with a close-range header late on but there was no danger of City letting all the good work slip.

How are the nerves holding out?