CHARLIE Wyke struck twice in the final five minutes as Swindon Town saw victory snatched from their grasp at Bradford City to further deepen their fears of relegation in League One.
Nicky Ajose’s cool finish with 15 minutes to go looked like it would be enough for a smash-and-grab success at Valley Parade but the visitors could not hold on and Wyke’s header and close-range strike saw Luke Williams’ side fall to a heart-breaking defeat.
Bradford had a sight of goal in the opening minute when they were awarded a free-kick high on the right after Dion Conroy clattered Mark Marshall little more than 20 seconds after the kick-off.
Balls into the box would cause the visitors problems throughout the first 45 minutes and from this first instance, Rory McArdle headed Tony McMahon's whipped set-piece over the top.
Swindon were playing largely on the counter and they had a first effort after 10 minutes when John Goddard pulled the ball back for Ben Gladwin to shoot from the edge of the box but his effort sailed wide.
Soon afterwards, the Town defence were rocking at a set-piece with this time Romain Vincelot the Bantams man to meet it, although he could not get a clean strike and it looped out for corner than McArdle then met but headed over the top.
The woodwork then came to Swindon’s rescue when the ball next came into the box, with the lively Marshall swinging over a cross to Charlie Wyke but he headed against the post and Fankaty Dabo was able to hack clear.
Town still offered the odd glimmer of attacking promise and good determination from Gladwin saw him nicks the ball off Vincelot just outside the Bradford box. Although he was not quite able to make room for a clean shot, the ball broke nicely for Charlie Colkett who blasted an effort straight at keeper Colin Doyle Marshall caused problems for the visiting back-line all afternoon at made room to have a shot from 20 yards that flew wide before then skipping away from Nathan Thompson to drill in a low cross that Lawrence Vigouroux gathered at the feet of Jordy Hiwula.
McMahon’s foul on Jonathan Obika on the edge of the box gave the visitors a rare sight of goal 10 minutes before the break but Goddard’s ball did not quite dip in time as it curled towards the top corner.
The hosts were demanding a penalty soon afterwards when Dabo shoved Marshall over as he looked to sneak into the box but thankfully for Town, referee Sebastian Stockbridge deemed the offence took place just outside the area.
Bradford threatened twice more before the interval when Timothee Dieng threw himself at a McMahon cross but Vigouroux pushed clear, with the Town keeper than pulling off another save from McMahon’s follow-up as the visitors survived to the break with the deadlock still intact.
It took the Bantams just six second-half minutes to threaten again, with another set-piece causing problems for Town. McArdle once again met McMahon's ball in but a superb save from Vigouroux tipped the header over the top.
The contest began to peter out for a while and it took until the 70-minute mark for the next real chance to arrive, although it came the way of the hosts once more. The ball fell nicely to Marshall in the box and although his effort was deflected, it dropped to substitute Alex Jones, whose shot on the turn sailed narrowly wide.
Having not had a sniff of goal all second half, Town unexpectedly broke the deadlock with their first attack after the restart with 15 minutes to go. Substitute Luke Norris headed down to Obika, who drove forward from halfway and released Ajose into the box and he planted the ball under Doyle to put the visitors ahead.
The Bantams threatened an immediate reply when Jones drilled the ball in from the right but no one was there to meets it and it bobbled just wide at the far post.
Bradford continued to press and Marshall darted into the box but was unable to pick out a team-mate and Thompson gratefully hacked it behind.
Town then had the chance to put the game to bed when Colkett found himself with a free header eight yards out but he looped Goddard's ball into the box over the top.
That was to prove costly as the goal the hosts had threatened all afternoon finally arrived with five minutes to play when Marshall floated the ball into the box and Wyke powered home a header despite the despairing efforts of Vigouroux.
Things then went from bad to worse for Town in the final of normal time as Wyke poked home from close range after Marshall powered up the left and drilled in the cross to complete a heart-breaking day for the visitors.
BRADFORD CITY: Doyle; McMahon, McArdle, Knight-Percival, Meredith; Dieng (Clark 62), Vincelot (capt), Cullen; Marshall (Darby 90), Wyke, Hiwula (Jones 62). Subs not used: Sattelmaier, Toner, Penney, Devine.
SWINDON TOWN: Vigouroux; Thompson (capt), Branco, Conroy, Dabo (Barry 46); Goddard, Ince, Colkett, Gladwin (Norris 73); Obika, Ajose. Subs not used: enry, Thomas, Rodgers, Iandolo, Starkey.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 17,916 (202 away)