Mark Hughes’ Bantams booked their place in round three of the Carabao Cup, after beating Wrexham 4-3 on penalties at the STōK Cae Ras.
After 90 minutes in Wales, the score was locked at 1-1. Tyler Smith had opened the scoring for City from the penalty spot inside three minutes, after Aaron Hayden brought down Jamie Walker.
City controlled much of the proceedings, but eventually fell to the Red Dragons’ pressure, as Will Boyle headed home Luke Young’s corner to send the game to a shoot-out.
The visitors prevailed in the shootout, as Harry Lewis was equal to James Jones’ kick, to send the Bantams into the third round for the first time since 2014.
Backed by a full away end at the Racecourse Ground, City threatened from the off and inside the first three minutes, edged in front.
A lobbed ball from Richie Smallwood found Alex Pattison in space, where the No.10 played a clever through ball for Walker.
Before the No.7 could latch onto the pass, Hayden, who returned to the Wrexham line-up, was adjudged to have fouled the Scot, prompting referee Ben Speedie to point to the spot.
And stepping up to convert from 12 yards was Smith, who tucked into the bottom corner to open his account in City colours.
The Bantams teased the Red Dragons’ defence moments later, as Matty Platt’s elevated pass found Smith, who after taking on Ben Tozer, fizzed his shot goalwards, but was denied a second by the legs of Howard.
As the half progressed, former Bantams boss Phil Parkinson’s side gradually grew into the clash, as they searched for an equaliser.
Jake Bickerstaff and Luke Young both lifted powerful strikes over Lewis, before Ben Tozer and Sam Dalby both caused danger from corners, forcing Lewis into two strong stops.
As half-time approached, it was the Bantams who looked closest to add to the scoresheet.
Hayden’s loose back pass was latched onto by Smith, who looked to hook the ball over the Wrexham No.1, but Howard was on hand to keep the scoreline - going into half-time - at 1-0.
Walker carried on proving a threat to the Red Dragons' backline, as he took the ball from under Jacob Mendy and fed Emmanuel Osadebe, who watched his shot whistle over, as Hughes' men looked to extend their lead in the second period.
Proving effective for the Bantams, the visitors once again used the counter to get beyond the Wrexham defence, as Bobby Pointon - making his second senior appearance off the bench - slotted a composed pass through for Brad Halliday, but the right-back could not find the target.
Like they did in the first, it took time for the Welsh outfit to grow into the half, and they were finally rewarded for their efforts just before the 75th minute.
Skipper Luke Young’s whipped corner found Will Boyle in the centre who nodded home, to send the two sides level into the final 15 minutes.
Matt Derbyshire had a few opportunities to edge the Bantams in front, as he watched a deflected effort and a header stopped by Howard.
Both sides pushed to avoid the game going into penalties, but the tie headed into the shoot-out, and would be settled by the same method which both teams needed to set tonight’s clash up.
Luke Young gave City the upper hand by missing the first spot-kick, before Derbyshire, Richie Smallwood, Halliday and debutant Adam Wilson converted from 12 yards to put City firmly in control.
Daniel Oyegoke was handed the opportunity to win it for the visitors, in front of over 1,000 travelling Bantams supporters, but was denied by Howard.
James Jones, with the final penalty before sudden death, rolled his spot-kick into the palms of Harry Lewis, and sent Hughes’ Bantams into round three.
City will find out their opponents after the conclusion of Doncaster Rovers v Everton on Sky Sports, tomorrow evening.
WREXHAM: Mark Howard, Ben Tower, Aaron Hayden (Eoghan O'Connell 61'), Luke Young (C), Sam Dalby (Billy Waters 87'), Jacob Mendy (James McClean 61'), Andy Cannon (Elliot Lee 61'), Will Boyle, Jake Bickerstaff (Ollie Palmer 70'), Ryan Barnett, James Jones. Subs not used: Luke McNicholas, Ollie Palmer, Liam McAlinden, Anthony Forde, Tom O’Connor.
GOALS: Boyle (73’).
PENALTIES: Young (missed), Lee (scored), Palmer (scored), McClean (scored), Jones (saved).
CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (C), Jamie Walker (Adam Wilson 83'), Emmanuel Osadebe (Daniel Oyegoke 73'), Alex Pattison (booked 45 +1’, Bobby Pointon 46'), Tyler Smith (Matt Derbyshire 73'), Sam Stubbs, Ciarán Kelly. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Luke Hendrie, Timi Odusina, Dylan Youmbi, Lewis Richards.
GOALS: Smith (3’ pen).
PENALTIES: Derbyshire (scored), Smallwood (scored), Wilson (scored), Halliday (scored), Oyegoke (saved).