City’s under-18s suffered a 3-0 defeat to Preston North End in the opening round of the Youth Alliance Cup.
Louis Potts’ first-half header gave the visitors an early advantage and the away side sealed their success in the second half.
City defender Finn Cousin-Dawson’s loose ball out wide allowed Preston to capitalise. Kyi Nicholson’s cross from the right set up Potts to nod in on the goal-line.
The second period followed in the same vein, giving the visitors further opportunites to capitalise.
Ethan Walker’s delivery from a set-piece found Lewis Earl at the back post, heading back across goal into the left-side corner of Tom Donaghy’s net.
Donaghy was caught out for Preston's third goal when a misplaced pass was intercepted by lilywhites substitute Lewis Leigh.
He found team-mate Tyrhys Dolan, who finished emphatically into the bottom corner.
The visitors were well drilled both in and out of possession, proving worthy winners in the first group stage game of the Youth Alliance Cup.
The format of the competition means the Bantams will have to get results away at Rochdale and Notts County in order to progress through to the next round.
Mark Trueman’s side will next travel to Doncaster Rovers next weekend, before a short trip across the Pennines to Rochdale for their second group fixture.