The Bantams endured a difficult afternoon at the home of league leaders Burton Albion after tasting defeat at the hands of the high-flying Brewers.
On a rainy afternoon, lady luck certainly wasn't working in favour of City as both of Burton's opening two goals came about in unfortunate circumstances for Phil Parkinson's men.
The hosts opened the scoring in the first period when former Bantams loanee Mason Bennett's drive beat Ben Williams at his near post after a significant deflection off Rory McArdle.
There was even less Williams could do about Burton's second after the break when the City shot-stopper superbly tipped Tom Naylor's drive onto the bar, only for the effort to bounce off the woodwork and down onto his back before rolling over the line.
Although Burton ran out deserved winners in the end, even their third goal was a hard one for Parkinson's side to take.
With Greg Leigh limping and out of the action due to cramp, Burton attacked down City's left flank before eventually scoring via a tap-in from Mark Duffy after Stuart Beavon's drive across the six yard box.
City, who started the game using a diamond-shaped midfield before changing to a more standard 4-4-2 shape at the break, could have found themselves level at the interval but James Hanson fired wide when through on goal.
The Bantams did register on the score-sheet in injury time when McArdle's glanced home with a header following Tony McMahon's near post corner delivery.
FT: Burton Albion 3 Bradford City 1
90+2min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Burton Albion 3 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams have a goal back in injury time when McArdle times his to perfection to glance a header home from McMahon's near post corner.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
88min: SUB - Burton bring on Tom Flanagan for Beavon.
87min: McMahon's cross into the box is cleared out as far as the lurking Knott just outside the area but the midfielder's volley sails over the bar.
86min: McMahon's direct free-kick from roughly 25 yards out is saved by McLaughlin.
83min: As City try to clear the danger following a free-kick into their box, Naylor fires for goal from just outside the area with a half-volley that is comfortably held by Williams.
81min: SUB - With Greg Leigh appearing to be limping for the last few minutes, the defender is replaced by fellow left back James Meredith.
80min: SUB - Burton bring on Callum Reilly for Duffy.
79min: Thomas turns away from Cansdell-Sherriff before firing in a low angled drive from just inside the box that goes past McLaughlin's far post.
77min: GOAL - Burton Albion 3 Bradford City 0 - Beavon's low drive across the six yard box finds an unmarked Duffy and the attacker easily fires home from close range.
77min: Stuart Beavon's low cross into the box picks out McCrory but the defender's low drive is kicked clear by Nathan Clarke.
73min: GOAL - Burton Albion 2 Bradford City 0 - The Bantams find themselves further behind in harsh circumstances. From Damien McCrory's cross into the box, Naylor's vicious first time strike is tipped onto the bar superbly by Williams but the effort bounces down and hits the back of the unfortunate City shot-stopper before rolling over the line.
71min: Marshall's cross into the middle seems to be just too high for a stretching Hanson as the striker heads comfortably over the bar from a decent position inside the box.
68min: SUB - Burton bring on Calum Butcher for Bennett.
66min: Morris and Knott work a short free-kick before the latter whips the ball into the box, with Hanson heading the cross straight at McLaughlin.
49min: McMahon tries his luck from outside the area but his rising drive goes over the bar.
47min: Morris' teasing delivery into the box is crucially headed behind for a corner by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff with Hanson behind him looking to pounce from close range.
HT SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Marshall and Wes Thomas for Routis and Proctor respectively. Having used a diamond formation in midfield in the first period, City seemingly will use a more standard 4-4-2 set-up after the break.
HT: Burton Albion 0 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
37min: YELLOW CARD - Tony McMahon is booked for catching Tom Naylor with a late challenge midway into Burton's half of the pitch.
35min: Akins' low drive from outside the box rolls harmlessly wide of Williams' near post.
29min: Routis' cross into the box is headed up into the air by a stretching Proctor before Knott fires wide with a first time volley from just inside the box while under pressure from a recovering Phil Edwards.
27min: James Hanson has a great chance to fire City level! Christopher Routis' through-ball is missed completely by Mousinho, giving Hanson a clear run on McLaughlin's goal. Hanson slots the ball past the former City shot-stopper but the low effort rolls wide of the far post.
25min: Proctor works the ball across to Josh Morris as City battle to keep a Nathan Clarke long throw-in alive inside the area. Morris strikes for goal first time with a side-footed effort from just inside the box but the effort sails some way over Jon McLaughlin's bar.
24min: Mousinho's header inside the area from Duffy's wide free-kick delivery is straight at Williams.
19min: City try to respond to the blow of going behind but a stretching Jamie Proctor can only head over from roughly six yards out after just reaching Billy Knott's floated delivery.
17min: GOAL - Burton Albion 1 Bradford City 0 - Former Bantams loanee Mason Bennett fires Burton into the lead. Phil Edwards' cross breaks into the path of Bennett inside the area and the attacker's driven strike towards goal from an angled takes a significant deflection off Rory McArdle before beating Williams at his near post.
13min: Duffy's drive from just outside the area is pushed away by his near post by Ben Williams.
10min: Luca Akins squanders a promising early chance for the Brewers! After his initial corner delivery is cleared, Mark Duffy floats a cross back into the mix, with John Mousinho heading the ball back across goal. Mousinho's header finds Akins unmarked only yards from goal but the attacker fires over with a first time strike from close range.
0min: Burton Albion kick off the match.
BURTON ALBION LINE UP:
McLaughlin, Edwards, Mousinho, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory, Bennett, Naylor, Weir, Akins, Duffy, Beavon
Subs: Bywater, Reilly, Butcher, Harness, O'Connor, Thiele, Flanagan
Burton Albion substitutions:
Butcher for Bennett (68), Reilly for Duffy (80), Flanagan for Beavon (88)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, N Clarke, Leigh, McMahon, Routis, Morris, Knott, Proctor, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, Meredith, Marshall, Burke, Reid, Davies, Thomas
Bradford City substitutions:
Marshall for Routis (46), Thomas for Proctor (46), Meredith for Leigh (81)
Bradford City cautions:
Referee: N Kinseley
Assistant Referee: P Marsden
Assistant Referee: N Barnard
Fourth Official: A Tankard