Derek Adams’ spirited Bantams bowed out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 defeat at Sky Bet Championship Nottingham Forest.
A first-half double from Joao Carvalho was enough for the hosts to advance and see off City.
Derek Adams’ team went close to going in front when Lee Angol let fly from 30 yards out, but his effort was denied by debuting Forest goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
The East Midlands side took the lead when Phillip Zinckerngel’s ball was struck into the back of the net by Carvalho.
A few minutes later, Chris Hughton’s team then doubled their advantage and it was the same two players who created it - with Carvalho again finishing beyond Richard O’Donnell.
City had a great chance to pull a goal back on the stroke of half-time when Andy Cook headed down to Abo Eisa, who shot wide from close range as the visitors remained two goals down heading into the interval.
The Bantams also had an opportunity in the opening minutes of the second period when Alex Gilliead played a through ball to Angol whose effort was kept out again by Horvath.
However, Callum Cooke then stepped over a free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box which nestled into the bottom corner to get City back into the contest.
The visitors had a penalty appeal turned down when Angol appeared to have been tripped in the area, but the referee waved City cries away.
Gilliead then tried his luck from inside the area, but his deflected attempt was easily gathered by the 'keeper.
Forest nearly added a third when Carvalho went through to complete his hat-trick, but his effort was well denied by O’Donnell.
Despite some late City pressure, they were unable to find an equaliser and were narrowly beaten by their Sky Bet Championship opponents.
CITY: Richard O’Donnell; Finn Cousin-Dawson, Paudie O’Connor, Niall Canavan ©, Liam Ridehalgh; Elliot Watt, Levi Sutton (Abo Eisa 34’), Alex Gilliead, Lee Angol; Callum Cooke, Andy Cook. SUBS (not used): Sam Hornby, Fiacre Kelleher, Matthew Foulds, Oliver Crankshaw, Charles Vernam, Gareth Evans.
FOREST: Ethan Horvath, Finley Back, Baba Fernandes (Ryan Yates 69’), Riley Harbottle (Tobias Figuiredo 67’), Jayden Richardson; Tyrese Fornah, Cafu ©, Phillip Zinckernagel (Nuno Da Costa 50’), Joao Carvalho; Ateef Konate, Alex Mighten. SUBS (not used): Jordan Smith, Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel, Brennan Johnson, Joe Lolley.
ATTENDANCE: 9,514 (1,172 away supporters)
REFEREE: Peter Wright.