Bradford City 0 Port Vale 1
City lost their unbeaten home record on Saturday afternoon at the hands of high-flying Port Vale thanks to a solitary strike from the leagues' leading scorer Tom Pope.
The Bantams were quick out of the traps early on and missed a great scoring chance in the first minute; Kyel Reid picked out Nahki Wells in the area who turned neatly and fired towards goal, Chris Neal was alert enough to thwart him from around 12 yards out.
A minute later James Hanson's header temporarily had most of the stadium thinking he's scored, but his effort rustled the side netting as City searched for an early break through.
Vale wingers Ashley Vincent and Jennison Myrie-Williams were looking lively and it was Vincent who had The Bantams' back line back-pedalling as he surged forward; his resulting shot was deflected behind for a corner kick.
A flurry of shots from Hanson and Wells respectively almost produced a goal but for the bravery of Vale's defence. McArdle found Wells to aim for Hanson who's shot was blocked; Wells' first shot was also blocked by a resilient opposing defence and a further volley from The Bermudian was blocked once more.
Moments later, against the run of play Port Vale took the lead. Gary Jones' back header towards McLaughlin didn't come close to reaching him and Tom Pope intercepted to shrug off his marker and fire past McLaughlin to send the large away following into raptures.
Eight minutes into the second half Vale fluffed a great chance to double their lead; Ashley Vincent raced clear, he had Myrie-Williams to his right with only McArdle in his way. Instead of squaring to his team-mate he carried on alone and his tame shot was dealt with by McLaughlin.
Myrie-Williams then forced a superb fingertip save from McLaughlin as his powerful strike after cutting inside from a long run, looked set to produce a goal.
Hanson was trying to grab the equaliser as he saw countless amounts of goal-bound headers stopped by opposing 'keeper Chris Neal. Reid was also putting the Vale defenders on the back foot and often had attempts on goal, but the visitors stood strong.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Nathan Doyle was the next to be thwarted as his goal-bound volley from just inside the area was brilliantly blocked after Hanson's header had teed him up.
City pushed hard for an equaliser late on, but it just wasn't to be their day, with Gary Jones' low shot and Nahki Wells' vicious strike both being kept out by Neal in the Port Vale goal.
Parkinson's men will feel hard done by to have not got anything out of a game where they had their opponents under pressure for long periods in the game, a reaction is now surely needed in Tuesday nights' away trip to Rochdale.