CITY don’t usually do last-day drama - but they will face it on Monday.

Crewe’s winning penalty 11 minutes into stoppage time means the Bantams still need a point to make sure of their place in the play-offs. The outside shot at automatic promotion has bitten the dust.

The Valley Parade faithful are ready to be put through the ringer against champions Leyton Orient in the last hour and a half of a rollercoaster campaign.

The Bantams were staring down the barrel at half-time as Crewe set about them to lead by two.

Andy Cook, who else, and Jamie Walker brought City back level within eight minutes of the restart. But there was more agony in added time to leave them sweating.

Abo Eisa made a surprise return to the starting line-up after a 14-game absence. The fit-again winger replaced Thierry Nevers on City’s left flank - which has proved a troublesome hole to fill since Tyreik Wright’s January exit.

Neither Nevers nor Dara Costelloe were in the squad but there was a recall for Dion Pereira on the bench as well as Ryan East.

Crewe’s bottom-half position masked a run of five wins out of six at Gresty Road going into their home swansong. After the recent midweek stumble at Swindon, a result that now weighs very heavily, City could not afford to take them lightly.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City scorers Andy Cook and Jamie Walker celebrateCity scorers Andy Cook and Jamie Walker celebrate (Image: Thomas Gadd)

The 2,000-strong following not only filled the Ice Cream Vans stand that runs alongside one side of the pitch but another smaller end behind the goal. It transformed Gresty Road into a home game on tour.

Some had travelled from West Yorkshire in fancy dress - the East Bierley Bantams all arrived in chicken costumes complete with their own Colonel Sanders!

“Mark Hughes’ Bradford army” boomed out in stereo to greet the teams - a noisy reminder to the players, if they need it, about the high stakes on offer.

City controlled the opening moments amid the wall of noise - but needed a defensive wall of their own to do its job with Dan Agyei’s free-kick after Romoney Crichlow fouled inside his own D.

Chris Long then headed weakly into the ground from Agyei’s cross but the pair made no mistake when they combined on 16 minutes.

Agyei’s turn of pace was too much for Sam Stubbs as he chased Long’s pass down the left before beating Harry Lewis at his near post.

The early swagger had been knocked out of City’s play and it was the home support making themselves heard. This wasn’t the plan.

Crichlow, fresh from Saturday’s first goal, had a sniff of another from Richie Smallwood’s free-kick but the ball stuck under his feet.

Crewe’s teenage keeper Tom Booth was playing only his third senior game and his inexperience showed when he was almost embarrassed by Scott Banks with a speculative 25-yarder.

But just as City were trying to build some momentum, they fell further behind before the break.

Again it was the same combination as before, Long proving too quick for Brad Halliday and drilling in a low cross that Agyei tapped in at the far post.

The first half wasn’t quite of the proportions of the infamous Paul Jewell game when he sent his team back out early. But it had been a real slap in the face for a team and support who had arrived in such buoyant mood.

City had a hell of a lot of work to do - but wasted no time in getting down to it.

Winning a corner from their first attack, Smallwood’s cross was dispatched by Cook’s firm header. A flare was hurled on the pitch as the away fans sprung back to life.

Banks then skipped past half-time sub Rio Adebisi and his fierce cross-shot was palmed away by Booth.

But the keeper was at fault as City levelled with a second goal in eight minutes. Booth came for Smallwood’s free-kick but got nowhere near and Cook cushioned a knockdown into the path of Walker to score.

There was a delay for another flare and a skirmish broke out in the away stand as police moved in.

But Crewe refused to go quietly once play resumed.

Agyei was still at it with an effort that flashed over the bar and Lachlan Brook forced Lewis into an awkward save.

Long was then inches away with a fizzing 30-yarder that had Lewis struggling as it flashed wide.

The contest was opening right up with chances at both ends as City also pushed for the winner to maintain their interest in third place.

Booth denied Banks for a second time and Cook prodded wide as Crewe claimed for a foul. Cook also headed into the keeper’s arms from a Walker cross.

But as the board showed 10 extra minutes, more added-time drama beckoned as Courtney Baker-Richardson was played through on goal.

With only Lewis to beat though, he spooned the ball wide to the disbelief of just about everyone in the ground.

That was a huge let-off for the visitors - but they would not be so lucky right at the end.

Stoppage time was into the 11th minute as Smallwood tripped David Amoo in the box.

Referee Adam Herczeg blew for the foul just as Courtney Baker-Richardson drove the ball into the net but Crewe made no mistake from the spot, Long hammering the penalty past Lewis to leave City’s season teetering nervously.

As emotions spilled over, there was a fracas by the touchline at the final whistle as Hughes had to be separated from the taunting goal-scorer.

We can expect plenty more tension to come - and that's just to ensure that City get into the gut-wrenching end-of-season shoot-out.