City’s journey in the Papa Johns Trophy came to an end in the second round, with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Salford City.
Lorent Taloj’s first-half strike was enough for Salford to secure progression into the third round at the Peninsula Stadium.
The Bantams started the immediate minutes of the first half brightly. Matty Foulds did brilliantly on the left-hand side to create himself some space, before whipping a dangerous effort into the box, which Salford’s backline managed to deal with.
As the first half progressed, chances for either team came few and far between. The game looked destined for both sides to enter the break at 0-0, until the 35th minute when the Ammies took the lead.
Tolaj found himself in space on the edge of the box, before cutting inside and curling a sweet effort into the bottom-left corner past Harry Lewis.
The opening stages of the second half mirrored that of the first, with an improved City side looking to draw level.
Both teams struggled to create any clear-cut chances, but it was City’s Harry Chapman who came closest to finding the equaliser.
With 54 minutes played, Matty Foulds’ pass found Chapman free in the corner of Salford’s box before he struck a shot towards Tom King in the Salford net. The keeper looked beaten, but Chapman’s effort rattled the woodwork.
Mark Hughes looked to his bench to try and find the equaliser, opting to make a triple change which saw the introduction of Ryan East, Scott Banks and Jamie Walker, who made his eagerly-anticipated return since leaving the field injured against Doncaster on the opening day of the season.
As the game entered the closing stages, it was Salford’s turn to test Harry Lewis. Callum Hendry created space for himself, cut inside and rifled an effort towards Lewis, who was well matched to the effort and did well to ensure the game remained at 1-0.
As the full-time whistle approached, City continued to push to find the equaliser. Scott Banks directed a well-hit effort at King who impressively pushed the shot over the bar.
That was to be the final chance for an equaliser, as Tom Reeves blew the full-time whistle and confirmed City’s exit out from the Papa Johns Trophy.
SALFORD: Tom King, Ibou Touray, Elliot Watt (Jack Jenkins 59’), Ryan Watson, Callum Hendry, Odin Bailey, Matt Smith, Lorent Tolaj (Conor McAleny 80’), Luke Bolton, Ryan Leak, Theo Vassell. Subs not used: Jacob Chapman, Kevin Berkoe, Richard Nartey, Josh O’Brien, Marcus Dackers.
GOALS: Tolaj (35’).
CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Yann Songo’o, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (Ryan East 68’), Alex Gilliead, Matty Foulds, Vadaine Oliver (Andy Cook 79’), Harry Chapman (Jamie Walker (68’), Dion Pereira (Scott Banks 68’), Tyreik Wright. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Timi Odusina, Abo Eisa.
ATTENDANCE: 578 (305 City supporters).