Mark Hughes’ Bantams took a point in Northern Group H of the Papa Johns Trophy, with a penalty shoot-out defeat at home to Leicester City Under-21s.
City were two up after the hour mark through Vadaine Oliver and Levi Sutton, but a comeback from the young Foxes took the game to spot-kicks, where the visitors took the extra point.
The away side started bright, with Kasey McAteer using his pace get behind the City defence in attempt to create.
It was the Bantams who struck first however, as just after the 10-minute mark they made their growing confidence count.
A corner was cleared as far as Ryan East who swung a teasing ball back into the area, which was met by the head of Oliver who crashed home his second in claret and amber.
Moments later, Oliver was hungry to add to his tally. A corner was headed across goal, but the frontman's audacious, acrobatic effort flew just wide.
After a spell of Leicester pressure as they looked to react, City were back on top towards the end of the first-period.
Timi Odusina’s quick reaction to a loose ball found Luke Hendrie, again with space on the right flank. His clipped cross found Oliver, whose downward header was stopped by Chituru Odunze.
Hughes' men started the second half in search of their second of the match. Levi Sutton provided concern for the visitors, as his right-footed effort was well-saved by Odunze.
And it was the No.18 who doubled the Bantams’ advantage, as Hendrie slotted him in behind. He struck an effort goalwards which took a nick off a Leicester leg on its way in, to put the Bantams in command.
Just before the hour mark, City almost made it three. Jake Young danced in-between Leicester’s defence and aimed for the top-right corner, but the attempt was saved.
The Midlands academy outfit impressed sporadically throughout the second period, and got back into the encounter as Will Alves cut inside and beat Lewis with a low, driven effort.
Leicester grew in confidence after scoring, and it was not soon after when they levelled the contest.
The Foxes captain Braybrooke fed in Tawanda Maswanhise, who found himself between the Bantams defence to beat Harry Lewis.
The hosts came back fighting however, and went agonisingly close to re-taking the lead as Jake Young's free-kick cannoned back off the crossbar.
The Bantams dominated the final proceedings in an attempt to avoid sending the game to a penalty shoot-out. Hendrie’s header was deflected by a Foxes’ defender, and fell perfectly for Kian Harratt whose overhead kick was superbly stopped.
The Foxes were composed from 12 yards, converting all four of their penalties.
Dion Pereria’s outstanding spot-kick was not enough for City to pick up the second point, as Odunze saved Sutton’s penalty before Harratt’s effort fell marginally wide of the target.
Kasey McAteer stepped up to secure the young Foxes the bonus point, as City miss the opportunity to advance to the second round but remain second in the group.
CITY: Harry Lewis, Yann Songo’o, Lee Angol (booked 45’, Dion Pereira 71’), Timi Odusina, Ryan East, Luke Hendrie, Levi Sutton (booked 90’), Vadaine Oliver, Jake Young ( booked 61’, Alex Gilliead 71’), Kian Harratt, Romoney Crichlow (Matty Platt 71’). Subs not used: Joe O’Shaughnessy, Richie Smallwood, Andy Cook, Harry Chapman.
GOALS: Oliver (11’), Sutton (49’).
PENS: Sutton (Saved), Gilliead (Scored), Pereira (Scored), Harratt (Missed).
LEICESTER: Chituru Odunze, Sammy Braybrooke, Kasey McAteer, Tawanda Maswanhise (Ethan Fitzhugh 75’), Iestyn Hughes (Brandon Cover 50’), Paul Appiah, Will Alves, Joe Wormleighton, Henry Cartwright (Terrel Pennant 74’), Chris Popov (Kian Pennant 70’), Tom Wilson Brown. Subs not used: Arlo Doherty, Zach Booth, Ronny Nelson.
GOALS: Alves (62’), Maswanhise (66’).
PENS: Fitzhugh (Scored), Appiah (Scored), Braybrooke (Scored), McAteer (Scored).
ATTENDANCE: 2,564 (53 Leicester supporters).