City fell to their first defeat in three matches, losing 2-1 to Rochdale at the University of Bradford Stadium.
Two second-half goals from Rochdale’s Ian Henderson cancelled out Abo Eisa’s first-half strike, securing all three points for Jim Bentley’s men.
Both sides enjoyed a fair share of possession in the opening stages of the first half but struggled to create any clear-cut chances in difficult pitch conditions.
Towards the latter stages of the first half, the Bantams found their confidence and were rewarded in the 29th minute when Eisa broke the deadlock.
Harry Chapman found himself free in space, flicking on towards Eisa with the help of another flick on from Levi Sutton.
City’s No.30 then managed to get a touch onto the in-flight ball which beat Cameron John and presented the winger with a one-on-one against Richard O’Donnell. Eisa hit the low, driven shot into the bottom-left-hand corner to give the Bantams the advantage.
City, spurred on by the momentum from Eisa’s goal, looked to double their advantage.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Alex Gilliead found himself free in space outside the box and rifled an effort towards O’Donnell’s bottom-right post, but the 'keeper was well matched to his effort.
The visitors looked for a reaction and, in added time of the first half, came close to drawing level at the interval.
Cameron John played a lobbed through ball which found Ian Henderson. The Rochdale striker looked up to face an onrushing Harry Lewis, but his lobbed attempt flew off target as the half drew to a close.
As the second half progressed, it was Jim Bentley’s side who looked like finding the next goal.
Rochdale were awarded a free-kick 25-yards out. Devante Rodney stepped up to strike a low driven effort towards Lewis’ right-hand corner. The shot rattled the inside of the post before bouncing away to safety.
Immediately after Rodney’s chance, City countered with both Gilliead and Eisa taking turns to strike efforts at O’Donnell’s net, but the former Bantams stopper managed to save comfortably.
Just before the hour mark, City pressed forward in search of their second. Harry Chapman played a neat through ball with the outside of his foot which Abo Eisa latched onto.
He looked to strike an effort at O’Donnell before appearing to have his feet taken away by a challenge from Ethan Ebanks-Landell. Mark Hughes’ men cried for what they believed was a penalty, though referee Paul Howard waved appeals away.
The visitors broke forward straight after, and played a long ball which found Rodney in the City penalty area. Brad Halliday went shoulder to shoulder with the Dale frontman before Rodney went to ground in the box, earning his side a spot kick.
Rodney stepped up to convert the set-piece, but Harry Lewis saved comfortably to his right-hand side, before seeing the rebound tapped home by Ian Henderson.
The visitors remained a threat on the break and, now in the ascendancy, managed to take the lead for the first time in the game with 70 minutes on the clock.
Aidan White drove down the left side of the pitch with his pass finding Danny Lloyd. His cross into the danger area found Rodney who managed to flick it onto the back post where Henderson was waiting to convert.
City threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser, and Rochdale found themselves under pressure for the remaining 20 minutes of the game.
Eisa threaded a neat pass to Vadaine Oliver near the penalty spot. City’s No.19 looked to strike the ball before a last-ditch tackle from Rochdale’s defence put it out for a corner.
Mark Hughes’ side kept Rochdale under pressure with the subsequent corner falling to Brad Halliday on the edge of the box, who rifled an effort just wide.
The fourth official indicated a minimum of five minutes added time as City continued to look for the equaliser, but the clock ran down and the Bantams failed to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
CITY: Harry Lewis (GK), Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (c) (Dion Pereira 90’), Alex Gilliead, Matty Foulds, Levi Sutton (Andy Cook 83’), Vadaine Oliver, Harry Chapman (Jamie Walker 66’), Romoney Crichlow, Abo Eisa (Thierry Nevers 90’). Subs not used: Colin Doyle (GK), Yann Songo’o, Ryan East.
GOALS: Eisa (29’).
ROCHDALE: Richard O’Donnell, Femi Seriki (Toumani Diagouraga 88’), Aidan White (Jimmy McNulty 90’), Max Taylor, Ethan Ebanks-Landell (c), Liam Kelly (Jimmy Ball 82’), Devante Rodney, Jimmy Keohane, Cameron John, Danny Lloyd (Abraham Odoh 82’), Ian Henderson (Scott Quigley 89’). Subs not used: Bradley Kelly (GK), Tyrese Sinclair.
GOALS: Henderson (63’, 70’).
ATTENDANCE: 17,061 (408 Rochdale supporters).