City’s under-18s side recorded their third-straight victory, emerging 2-1 winners away at EFL Youth Alliance North East Division title rivals Mansfield.
A dominant first-half performance was followed by 45 minutes successfully dealing with increasing Mansfield pressure, as the young Bantams further stated their credentials as title challengers.
City practiced arguably their best form of the season throughout the first period and - having started the affair firmly on the front foot - were awarded a penalty with little more than a quarter of an hour on the clock when Finn Cousin-Dawson was pulled down in the area.
Eliot Goldthorp stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to put the Bantams ahead.
After dominating the remainder of the half, City had more to show for it after doubling their lead five minutes before the interval.
After Reece Staunton’s long ball in behind, skipper Jeremie Milambo capitalised on some hesitant Mansfield defending to race into the area and delicately lift the ball over the goalkeeper for 2-0.
In the second period Mansfield – as anticipated – came out with more urgency, and City had to be disciplined and alert to manage the circumstances and keep their hosts at bay.
The Stags pulled one back on 67 minutes when a corner was headed down into a goalmouth scramble by Noah Stokes, for Kamen Cashmore to eventually bundle the ball over the line.
But City coped well for the remainder of the game to condemn Mansfield to their first defeat in six and move up to third in the league.
Mark Trueman’s side can go top on Good Friday when hosting Notts County in their game in hand.
CITY: Alfie Darke; Hayden Smethurst, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Reece Staunton, Jeremie Milambo (c) (booked 87’); Jake Maltby, Connor Shanks, Eliot Goldthorp (booked 90+1’); Dan Francis (O’Neill Alli 53’), Kielen Adams (booked 90’), Connor Morris (Kian Scales 56’). Subs (not used): Charlie Wood, Eddy Prata, Cole Roberts.
GOALS: Goldthorp (17’ pen), Milambo (40’).
STAGS: Keaton Marrs; Kyle Tomlin, Jordan Armsden, Noah Stokes, Kian Sketchley; Bradley Lathall (Kieran Darby 46’), Jack Cornell (booked 16’, Larnell King 46’), Nathan Saunders, James Tague (c); Kamen Cashmore, Rio Molyneaux. Subs (not used): Jamie Boyle, Isaac Fisher, Lewis Davis.
GOALS: Cashmore (67’).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Finn Cousin-Dawson.