The Bantams were narrowly beaten on their return to the Utilita Energy Stadium, with a 2-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Port Vale.
Despite Charles Vernam's second-half strike on his return to the side from injury, Vale held out having taken a two-goal lead through Ben Garrity and James Wilson.
The visitors started strongly and enjoyed the first chance of the game when Wilson found space to shoot on the edge of the box, but his effort was off target.
In the 24th minute Brad Walker forced Alex Bass into a good save from a free-kick, before David Worrall squandered a good opportunity from inside the area.
It was the Bantams who came agonisingly close on the brink of half-time when Andy Cook received the ball inside the area, and drilled a left-footed effort towards goal.
The strike took a wicked deflection off a Port Vale leg and looped up onto the crossbar and away.
The visitors took the lead at the beginning of the second half when a ball into the box was half-cleared by the City defence, allowing Garrity to smash the ball past Alex Bass.
In the 58th minute, the away side came close to a second goal when Wilson received the ball in the box, but a brave block from Yann Songo’o and Matthew Foulds denied the Vale striker.
Wilson did get his goal not long after, however. Appeals for a foul on Yann Songo'o were waved away by Yann Songo'o, as the Valiants frontman drove into the area and finished past Bass.
Vernam made an instant impact from the bench, scoring on his return to the side just minutes after entering the fray.
After Dion Pereira recovered possession and teed him up, Vernam hit a deflected strike into the back of the net from the edge of the box.
Fellow substitute Jamie Walker had Valley Parade erupting moments later when his strike saw the net ripple, but the ball had struck the side netting, coming within inches of dragging the Bantams level.
In the 82nd minute Luke Hendrie put in a teasing cross into Andy Cook whose header bounced just wide of the target, as the Bantams threw bodies forward in search of a second goal.
With just moments left to play, Port Vale were forced to make a goalline clearance after Hendrie headed back across goal for Andy Cook and then Walker, who was denied.
CITY: Alex Bass; Luke Hendrie, Paudie O’Connor (c), Yann Songo’o, Matthew Foulds; Nathan Delfouneso (Jamie Walker 68’ (booked 72’)), Gareth Evans; Levi Sutton (Charles Vernam 68’), Callum Cooke; Dion Pereira; Andy Cook. SUBS (not used): Richard O’Donnell, Fiacre Kelleher, Theo Robinson, Reece Staunton, Caolan Lavery.
GOALS: Charles Vernam (70’).
PORT VALE: Aiden Stone; Brad Walker (booked 41’), Conor Hall, Nathan Smith (booked 76’), David Worrall, Ben Garrity, James Wilson (Kian Harratt 76’), Mal Benning (booked 71’), Jamie Proctor (David Amoo 85’), Harry Charsley (booked 21’, Ryan Edmondson 94’), Tom Pett (c). SUBS: (not used): Thomas Hold, Alex Hurst, Sam Robinson, Joel Cooper.
GOALS: Ben Garrity (50’), James Wilson (63’).
REFEREE: Darren Drysdale.
ATTENDANCE: 16,046 (including 734 Port Vale supporters).