THE Harrogate music man knew exactly what he was doing with his choice of tune to accompany their derby delight.

As the City players tried to put a brave face on another absolute shocker of a showing in front of the travelling supporters who had bothered to stay the course, the stadium DJ found the apt accompaniment.

Mental as Anything just about sums up the current scenario at the club as the season continues to spiral at a worrying speed.

“Hey there, you, with the sad face”. That could have applied to anyone of a claret and amber inclination while the hosts certainly lived it up after inflicting a fourth loss on the bounce.

Harrogate’s record home crowd, all 3,905 of them, had thinned considerably by that point. Plenty in the capacity away stands had called it quits long before.

And again, as with Tuesday, last Saturday, the Tuesday before, who could possibly blame them?

Tempers on the terraces have gone; patience exhausted by watching a season that could still have come to something just plunge off a cliff.

That anger spilled over in full volume midway through the second half as the fans turned loudly on the club’s top brass.

Chief executive Ryan Sparks was there in the directors’ box as he got it both barrels.

Owner Stefan Rupp, of course, wasn’t but word would have got quickly back to Germany that the natives are not just restless but raging.

The fans expect and deserve a proper response from the Silent One. Words would be a start; actions must follow.

Protest is being mobilised. The Bradford City fans independent group have called for supporters to gather outside the main stand an hour before kick-off at the next home game.

The frustration that had been mainly contained to online is entering the mainstream. Depending on the numbers and strength of feeling, the club will be compelled to listen.

Tranmere’s visit could be an uncomfortable afternoon for the powers-that-be on Good Friday. Or simply Friday, as it should be known at Valley Parade where there is nothing good right now.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brad Halliday conceded a second-half penalty for hand ballBrad Halliday conceded a second-half penalty for hand ball (Image: Thomas Gadd)

The players will be feeling the heat just as much after tossing away the opportunity that was presenting itself after the handsome win at Accrington.

This just felt like a continuation of what we have had to suffer in the last few games, heads dropping at the first sign of something going wrong and little sign of a fightback.

Big-name players are sinking without trace – Tyreik Wright fluffed the gilt-edged chance to get City back in it and then disappeared; Jamie Walker has looked a shadow of his former self since returning from his injury lay-off.

Richie Smallwood and Kevin McDonald were outworked in midfield; Liam Ridehalgh and a rusty Matty Platt creaked at the back.

You had to feel sympathy for Andy Cook who was feeding on crumbs, not even scraps, up front.

Apart from one misdirected header from a corner, he battled away throughout with the air of someone who probably knew there was fat chance of seeing another half-decent delivery come his way.

City had actually begun proceedings fairly brightly – echoes of that Notts County game again.

Cook pressed eagerly, harrying keeper James Belshaw from an Anthony O’Connor back pass in the opening minute, as the visitors used the gusting wind at their backs.

But little came from the pressure and nobody would have been surprised when it was Harrogate who steadied themselves to strike the first blow.

Skipper Warren Burrell found room from a throw-in too easily to cross for Josh March to bullet his first goal for the club after six months of trying. City really are the team that keep giving to needy causes.

Wright should have levelled within minutes when McDonald’s long-range strike was blocked by the sliding O’Connor. It landed invitingly at the winger’s feet eight yards out but his shot lacked the power and was straight at Belshaw.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Matty Platt returned after six games out with a hamstring injuryMatty Platt returned after six games out with a hamstring injury (Image: Thomas Gadd)

Harrogate’s first win in nine games was pretty much secure from that point.

O’Connor was one of four former Bantams in the home line-up and all had a very satisfying day.

Matty Foulds, subjected to the odd “City reject” chant, played his part in a back three recording a third clean sheet on the bounce.

One-time loanee Matty Daly buzzed about and only the post denied him his usual goal in these fixtures but the “ex” causing the visitors most discomfort was Levi Sutton.

He snapped into challenges with his trademark zeal and looked full of energy in the middle of the park against one-paced opponents lacking the similar engine of the injured Alex Gilliead.

Daly’s near-miss in the nine minutes of time added to the first half for patching up assistant ref Johnathon Bickerdyke’s bloody nose served as a warning.

But there was little or no change to City’s approach after the break. Playing into the wind, what little threat they had offered seemed to diminish further.

Smallwood whipped a free-kick over the wall but straight down the throat of Belshaw and that was it.

And as the fans loudly vented their fury about the City hierarchy, George Thomson’s thumping penalty sealed the Harrogate victory after Brad Halliday handled while stooping for a challenge.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Teenager Noah Wadsworth came on for his senior debutTeenager Noah Wadsworth came on for his senior debut (Image: Thomas Gadd)

That was the cue for a number of the West Yorkshire contingent to call it quits and make an early getaway for the car – or, more likely, the nearest boozer to try and blot out what they had witnessed.

“Bradford City, it’s happening again” taunted the locals as Harrogate closed in on their sixth win in the nine meetings since they became an EFL club.

But more pain was to follow as Daniel Oyegoke, who had soldiered on manfully filling in again for the absent Jon Tomkinson, deflected Jack Muldoon’s cross into his own net.

Alexander held up his hands in apology towards the seething fans at the final whistle as the man on the sound system had his fun.

Now his team must stand up and show something as the frustration comes to a head.

With seven games still to go, this painful period has the potential to get even further out of control if City keep churning out listless displays like this one.