Recalled Danny Rowe marked his return in style as he bagged the only goal of the game to propel the on-song Bantams within three points of the top six – with a game in hand.
Mansfield skipper Ollie Clarke was sent off deep in stoppage time for elbowing Connor Wood.
The Bantams were indebted to the woodwork early on as Jason Law’s curling effort hit the post.
But Rowe got the hosts onto the board in the 32nd minute after Elliot Watt’s free-kick was knocked into his path by Niall Canavan.
And Rowe tried to double his tally but Stags stopper Aidan Stone easily caught his free-kick.
Paudie O’Connor nodded over at the back post on the stroke of half time. Lively Rowe forced Stone into a great save to tip his thunderous effort over the bar five minutes into the second half.
The hosts had to soak up the pressure as the Stags searched for an equaliser. And Cooke saw his rasping drive tipped beyond the post by a super Stone save as the Bantams came close to putting the contest to bed.
Substitute Clayton Donaldson had a header saved before Clarke’s sending off.
Bradford: Hornby, P.O’Connor, A.O’Connor, Canavan, Wood, Sutton, Watt, Vernam (Stevens, 77), Cooke (Cousin-Dawson, 90+3), Crankshaw (Clarke, 55), Rowe (Donaldson, 77). Unused substitutes: O’Donnell, Scales, Burrell.
Mansfield: Stone, Gordon, Rawson, Sweeney, Benning, Clarke, Maris (Charsley, 20), Quinn (Sinclair, 86), Law, Reid, Bowery. Unused substitutes: Stech, O’Keeffe, Clarke, Wright, Perch.
Referee: P Howard (London).
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