The Bantams started their Papa Johns Trophy campaign with victory at the University of Bradford Stadium, beating Sky Bet League One side Sheffield Wednesday 3-1.
A brace from Jake Young and Kian Harratt’s first goal for City secured Mark Hughes’ side their first three points in Northern Group H, with what was a dominant second-half performance.
Both sides fielded rotated sides from the weekend’s league action, with City making seven changes from the draw with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday - the most notable seeing Timi Odusina make his debut.
The Bantams had to withstand some early pressure posed by the Owls with left-back Jaden Brown whipping a dangerous ball into the six-yard box, but it was comfortably handled by Harry Lewis.
City grew into the encounter however and, just after the half-hour mark, having gone close on a few prior occasions, took the lead through Jake Young.
The winger took Luke Hendrie's impressive cross-field pass down on the edge of the area, weaving in and out of two defenders and striking a low, right-footed shot into the bottom corner for his first goal at Valley Parade.
Wedensday hit back moments later, though, as Yann Songo’o was adjudged to have brought down Callum Paterson inside the area. Referee Samuel Barrott awarded the spot-kick and former Rotherham United forward Michael Smith converted to level things up going into the second period.
Buoyed by a record Papa Johns Trophy attendance at the University of Bradford Stadium, City started the second half strong, in an attempt to re-take the lead.
A clever corner routine worked by Hendrie and Richie Smallwood found Vadaine Oliver stretching at the far post, but despite making contact he could not direct the ball towards goal.
City were on top for the majority of the second half and were rewarded as they edged in front with 15 remaining.
Neat work from substitute Kian Harratt instilled fear in the Owls’ defence, and after patient build-up, Young impressively turned his marker and poked the ball past Dawson.
Hughes’ side did not stop there, and put the icing on the cake in the closing stages.
A clearance from Yann Songo’o was picked up by Harry Chapman who, after rounding Jack Hunt and making his way into the box, found Kian Harratt.
The Huddersfield Town loanee took his time to slot the ball past Dawson to consolidate the Bantams’ lead and grab his first goal in claret and amber.
The 20-year-old almost made it four for the home side. After being allowed space to open up his body, Harratt lifted a shot towards the target but was just wide.
The Bantams saw out the game in style and their first three points in the Papa John’s trophy were confirmed.
CITY: Harry Lewis, Yann Songo’o, Richie Smallwood (Lee Angol 65’), Matty Foulds, Timi Odasına, Ryan East, Luke Hendrie, Levi Sutton, Vadaine Oliver (Kian Harratt 72’), Harry Chapman, Jake Young. Subs (not used): Colin Doyle, Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh, Matty Platt, Andy Cook.
GOALS: Jake Young (36’, 75’) Kian Harratt (83’)
WEDNESDAY: Cameron Dawson, Jaden Brown, Will Vaulks, Dominic Iorfa (Mark McGuiness 45’), Callum Paterson, David Agbontohoma (Ryan Galvin 45’), Micheal Smith (Mallik Wilks 45’), Alex Hunt, Jack Hunt (Jay Glover 82’), Reece James, Alex Mighten (Leojo Davidson 81’). Subs (not used): David Stockdale, Luke Cook.
GOALS: Micheal Smith (38’ pen).
ATTENDANCE: 6,082 (3,555 Sheffield Wednesday supporters).