City left Vale Park empty-handed - losing 2-1 to Port Vale in Sky Bet League Two.
First-half strikes from Theo Robinson and Tom Conlon proved enough to see off the Bantams in their penultimate away game of the season - after Clayton Donaldson had struck first.
The Bantams started with intent and almost took an early lead on a couple of occasions through Andy Cook and Levi Sutton.
The visitors' pressure paid off as the Bantams took a deserved lead on 14 minutes, through Donaldson
Elliot Watt spread the ball across the pitch to Cook - who fizzed it across the edge of the six-yard area for his strike partner to notch his seventh goal of the season.
Just minutes later, Darrell Clarke’s side were level with their first meaningful attack of the game, as Luke Joyce crossed to an unmarked Theo Robinson at the back post, who calmly slotted it into the bottom-left corner.
Donaldson looked to bag his second of the afternoon when Cooke fizzed a ball in behind Port Vale’s defence. City’s No.10 latched onto it but was denied after he attempted to lob Brown - who had come off his goalline.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 31st minute after Ollie Crankshaw brought down Nathan Smith inside the box. Tom Conlon stepped up for the resulting spot-kick and side-footed it straight down the middle to give his side the lead.
The first real chance of the second half fell to Cook after Gareth Evans floated a free-kick into the centre of the box. The ball ricocheted to the No.29, who had his low drive clawed away by Brown.
Port Vale almost added a third in the 76th minute when Christian Montano picked up the ball inside City’s 18-yard-box before drilling a low shot goalwards that was bravely blocked away by Paudie O’Connor for a corner.
City attempted to find a leveller in the final 10 minutes but the Valiants’ defence stood strong - seeing the Bantams fall to defeat in Staffordshire.
VALE: Scott Brown; James Gibbons, Leon Legge, Shaun Brisley, Nathan Smith; Luke Joyce, David Worrall (Christian Montano 71’), Danny Whitehead (David Amoo 62’), Tom Conlon (c), Will Swan (Scott Burgess 62’); Theo Robinson (Tom Pope 90+1). Subs (not used): Alex Hurst, Tom Scott, Mustapha Olagunji.
GOALS: Theo Robinson (16’), Tom Conlon (32’ pen).
CITY: Sam Hornby; Connor Wood, Paudie O’Connor ©, Anthony O’Connor, Levi Sutton; Ollie Crankshaw (Gareth Evans 39’), Elliot Watt, Callum Cooke, Charles Vernam (Matty Foulds 64’); Clayton Donaldson (Lee Novak 71’) Andy Cook. Subs (not used): Richard O’Donnell, Jordan Stevens, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Kian Scales.
GOALS: Clayton Donaldson (14’).
REFEREE: Benjamin Speedie.