Nahki Wells hit a hat trick, converting a stoppage time penalty to deny Coventry the chance to move level on points with Bradford just outside the League One playoff places.
The visitors led 2-0 through Andy Webster and Leon Clarke pictured left, but Wells wiped that out. Callum Wilson ensured the hosts went in behind after a frenetic first half. Wells snatched a point, however, converting from 12 yards at the death.
Bantams boss Phil Parkinson made a single change after crashing out of the FA Cup at Yorkshire rivals Rotherham. Raffaele De Vita made way for Garry Thompson.
Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley also made one alteration. John Fleck returned to the XI for Adam Barton following the 3-1 away cup win at AFC Wimbledon.
Bradford were twice caught cold in the opening ten minutes as Coventry established an early 2-0 lead. First Jon McLaughlin collided with Rory McArdle as a free kick came in and Webster fired in the loose ball. Leon Clarke looked offside and interfering with play as the ball was delivered, but the goal stood.
Wilson then raced clear wide on the left and forced Bantams number one McLaughlin into a low, parrying stop off his line. Leon Clarke snapped up the rebound. Recovering from this abysmal start defensively, Bradford went on the offensive themselves.
Kyel Reid blazed over on the stretch after good work by Wells. Joe Murphy in the Sky Blues goal kept out a close range James Hanson header from Stephen Darby’s centre. The hosts then profited from two terrible defensive misjudgements after 15 minutes.
Hanson won an aerial ball ahead of Murphy, Jordan Clarke failed to cut it out and Wells had a tap in. Coventry continued to threaten despite being pegged back, however. Sky Blues skipper Carl Baker forced McLaughlin to turn his shot behind and a goalmouth scramble ensued from the resulting corner.
Two Fleck volleys were blocked at source before McArdle brought him down in the area. Referee Kevin Friend gave no penalty though and Jordan Clarke lashed the loose ball just wide. Wells added his second when he survived a hint of offside by beating Murphy to a Hanson knockdown before half an hour.
An action-packed first half continued as Wells saw a free kick deflected over from the edge of the box and Nathan Doyle’s goalbound volley was headed behind by Baker. Wilson then put Coventry in front again with three first half minutes left, breaking down the right and smashing in precisely on the near post.
Bantams defenders could cope with his movement no better than the opposition handled Wells. McArdle headed a free kick just over before the break as hosts Bradford went in behind.
Franck Moussa worked McLaughlin with a low effort and Wells pinged another set piece off the bar at the other end early in the second half. The frantic pace of the first 45 ebbed now. Parkinson threw on Mark Yeates in search of an equaliser and his peach of a cross was just headed over by Hanson.
Just when it looked like Coventry would see out victory, referee Friend awarded Bradford a penalty at the death when Jordan Clarke went up and handled in the box. Wells completed his hat-trick by coolly dispatching at the death.
Parkinson’s Bantams continue their indifferent form with this crazy game, but have dropped out of the playoff places. Pressley and his Sky Blues go home disappointed.
- Bradford: 1 Jon McLaughlin, 2 Stephen Darby, 22 Matthew Bates, (17 Alan Connell 83’) 23 Rory McArdle, 3 James Meredith, 11 Garry Thompson (14 Mark Yeates 68’), 18 Gary Jones (c), 24 Nathan Doyle, 7 Kyel Reid (20 Raffaele De Vita 85’), 9 James Hanson, 21 Nahki Wells 4-4-2
- Goals: Nahki Wells 17’, 28’, 90’+5
- Coventry: 1 Joe Murphy, 2 Cyrus Christie, 4 Andy Webster, 24 Jordan Clarke, 3 Blair Adams, 8 Carl Baker (c), 6 Conor Thomas, 7 John Fleck, 14 Franck Moussa (18 Aaron Phillips 85’), 9 Leon Clarke, 20 Callum Wilson 4-4-2
- Goals: Andy Webster 2’, Leon Clarke 7’, Callum Wilson 42’