CITY’S race is run - they will be back for a fifth season in League Two in August.

Carlisle eventually saw them off with a 3-1 win after extra-time at Brunton Park to win 3-2 on aggregate.

They will face Stockport in next Sunday’s final - for the beaten Bantams it’s back to the grind of the fourth tier once more.

Matt Derbyshire’s goal in the second period of extra-time briefly raised hope. But that was swiftly crushed by Ben Barclay - on loan from the Hatters and unable to face them at Wembley.

Not that City will be bothered as they contemplate a campaign of so near but so far.

And in truth, Mark Hughes’ men could have no complaints on the outcome in Cumbria.

Hughes had unsurprisingly named an unchanged line-up for the third time in a row.

John-Kymani Gordon, recalled by Carlisle up front after a three-game ban, saw a tame early shot saved.

Carlisle’s Jack Armer was quickly in the book for a nasty challenge on Brad Halliday.

Richie Smallwood had City’s first sniff of goal on nine minutes. Set up by Scott Banks charging down Corey Whelan’s clearance, he twice saw shots blocked before going over Paul Huntington’s challenge in the box - but referee Simon Mather waved off the penalty shout.

But the Bantams were grateful to Harry Lewis as Gordon, who was proving a handful, curled a low effort which the keeper superbly tipped onto the inside of the far post.

The game then exploded into action as Carlisle grabbed a 21st-minute lead to level the aggregate score.

Joel Senior’s clever backheel set up Owen Moxon, Lewis could only parry his shot from the edge of the area and Brad Halliday got the unfortunate decisive touch from the rebound as he slid in with Gordon.

Banks looked to respond and his close-range header was tipped onto the woodwork before Tomas Holy denied his follow-up.

But Carlisle cranked up the pressure - and Lewis came to City’s rescue with a reaction block to keep out another Moxon blast.

Joe Garner’s head from a corner hit the post and came out to Moxon by the penalty spot. The midfielder hit it full-on but Lewis was equal to the challenge to turn it away.

The Cumbrians remained the better team as City struggled to turn the tide and Alfie McCalmont played in Gordon for an attempted chip that flew harmlessly at Lewis.

Half-time came as a relief as Hughes had the chance to regroup his team for a much-improved return.

City were under pressure again when the game resumed as Sam Stubbs had his pocket picked by the livewire Gordon. But the centre half recovered to deflect Garner’s shot behind.

Corey Whelan took a painful whack on the nose from Andy Cook but cleared his senses to make a burst into the box. He went down under Halliday but the ref ignored the home shouts.

Cook was getting some stick from the home crowd after he squared up again with Whelan. The City striker set up Banks for a shot but it was poor effort that sailed wide.

Cook forced their first corner of the game but the short routine did not foul one-time Bantams loanee Callum Guy.

But the visitors were starting to come to the party and won a flurry of corners without pressuring Holy.

Emmanuel Osadebe and Ryan East came off the bench for Adam Clayton and Alex Gilliead while Carlisle swapped their front pair round - as they had done at Valley Parade.

The pace of the contest had dipped as tension and a bit of fatigue began to creep in. There was certainly much less incident than in the first half.

Nine added minutes cranked up the volume again. Lewis smothered a low shot from Taylor Charters while Jamie Walker drove high and wide at the other end.

Smallwood had a chance right at the end when Banks’ blocked cross landed at his feet. But he failed to pick out a team-mate as he opted to clip it over Holy rather than having a go himself and Senior was able to head clear.

Carlisle then took a decisive step towards Wembley with a second goal eight minutes into extra-time.

Stubbs coughed up a cheap corner which Halliday only half-cleared as far as an unmarked Guy - and he drilled an angled volley past Lewis to double the Cumbrians’ lead.

City were staring down the barrel as Hughes threw on Matt Derbyshire for Walker.

And they were close to a response as Cook nodded down for Osadebe to flash a first-time volley inches over the bar.

But they then levelled with a blistering start to the second added period.

Banks ploughed down the right and cut back to Derbyshire to slot home from close range. It had taken just 27 seconds since the restart.

Carlisle, though, dusted themselves off to deliver another huge blow.

City half-cleared a short corner but Moxon put in another teasing cross and Barclay had the room to glance a header past Lewis.

CARLISLE: Holy 6, Barclay 6, Huntington 7, Whelan 6 (Robinson 120min), Senior 7 (Gibson 90min, 6), Guy 6, Moxon 8, Armer 7, McCalmont 6 (Patrick 70min, 7), Gordon 8 (Charters 70min, 7), Garner 7 (Edmondson 65min). Subs (not used): Dennis, Kelly.

CITY: Lewis 6, Halliday 5, Stubbs 5, Crichlow 6, Ridehalgh 6, Smallwood 6, Clayton 5 (Osadebe 69min, 6), Gilliead 6 (East 69min, 6), Banks 7 (Platt 108min), Walker 5 (Derbyshire 99min, 7), Cook 5. Subs (not used): Pereira, Nevers, Doyle.

REFEREE: Simon Mathers