A brave, youthful City side picked up a point in Northern Group F of the EFL Trophy after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
After a goalless 90 minutes, the match headed straight for penalties where the Rovers prevailed 4-1.
The Bantams side started the game in positive fashion and began to assert their authority of the encounter in the opening ten minutes.
Academy graduate Finn Cousin-Dawson combined well with Levi Sutton down the right-hand flank and found Clayton Donaldson in the six yard box, but the striker was quickly closed down and the hosts cleared away.
Jon Taylor looked to be a threat down the right for Rovers. The winger managed to find space for a shot at the edge of the box but his powerful effort was blocked by a City defender and looped just over Sam Hornby’s crossbar.
The hosts proved to be a danger from set-pieces throughout the first half.
James Coppinger's whipped corner delivery found an unmarked Joe Wright at the near post, though the defender could not divert his effort goalwards.
City continued to push forward and craft out chances. Ben Richard Everton’s teasing ball into the box from wide came within a matter of inches of finding a fully-stretched Clayton Donaldson.
Stuart McCall's side went into the half-time break level after comfortably matching the Sky Bet League One outfit in an even opening 45 minutes.
City came out fighting and won an early free-kick in a dangerous area. Kian Scales stepped up from 25 yards but struck well over the Rovers crossbar.
Bantams keeper Sam Hornby made a good full-stretch save to deny Coppinger’s powerful low drive in the 53rd minute.
Just moments later, Jon Taylor was inches away from opening the scoring for the South Yorkshire outfit - bursting into the area but hitting his close-range effort into the side-netting.
Stuart McCall turned to Saturday’s man of the match Tyler French as he looked to find a creative spark in the final third.
Levi Sutton came within inches of grabbing a debut goal, managing to get a strike towards goal which curled just wide.
Hornby fumbled a long-range effort which fell straight to the feet of Fejiri Okenabirhie but made up for his error with an acrobatic point-blank save to deny the Rovers No.9.
Young Bantams defender Reece Staunton was brought on in the 79th minute to replace Connor Shanks, and was instantly called into action - blocking a low cross two yards out to deny a certain goal for the hosts.
The match headed straight to penalties following the 90-minute stalemate.
City misses from Harry Pritchard and Jackson Longridge saw McCall's men lose out on the extra group point, with the hosts convering all four of their spot-kicks.
DONCASTER: Louis Jones; Brad Halliday, Tom Anderson, Joe Wright, Cameron John; Madger Gomes, Ben Whiteman (c), Taylor Richards (Ed Williams 65’), James Coppinger, Jon Taylor (Jason Lokilo 65’); Fejiri Okenabirhie. Subs (not used):: Ben Bottomley (GK), AJ Greaves, Branden Horton, Hasani Ravenhill.
PENALTIES: Whiteman (scored), Okenabirhie (scored), John (scored), Williams (scored).
CITY: Sam Hornby; Levi Sutton, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jorge Sikora, Ben Richards-Everton (c), Jackson Longridge; Harry Pritchard, Kian Scales, Connor Shanks (Reece Staunton 79’); Clayton Donaldson (Kurtis Guthrie 76’), Dylan Mottley-Henry (Tyler French 62’). Subs (not used): Richard O’Donnell (GK), Elliot Watt.
PENALTIES: Guthrie (scored), Pritchard (saved), Longridge (missed).
REFEREE: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne).