Attendance: 6,446 (361 visitors)
The Bantams endured a difficult start to the new calendar year after suffering a disappointing away defeat at the hands of promotion hopefuls Gillingham.
At a wet and windy Priestfield Stadium, a slow start to the encounter from Phil Parkinson's men ultimately left City with too much to claw back in their maiden match of 2016.
A fourth minute opener from Bradley Dack was added to by a strike from Rory Donnelly seven minutes later to see Gillingham race into a early two-goal lead.
City could have found themselves further behind shortly afterwards but Donnelly's goal-bound effort was headed off the line by Stephen Darby.
Two goals down, City, to their credit, launched a strong response in the remaining minutes of the first period.
Reece Burke and Rory McArdle were denied on the goal-line by John Egan and home shot-stopper Stuart Nelson respectively during one Tony McMahon corner delivery midway through the half.
The recalled Devante Cole then fired over from close range just past the half hour mark following Kyel Reid's teasing cross into the six yard box.
City's efforts to mount a fight-back were hampered early after the restart when Burke had to be substituted after being nudged into the sponsor-boards by Gills striker Dominic Samuel.
Burke was sent to hospital straight away amid fears he had broken his right wrist.
Reid, Tony McMahon and City substitute Billy Clarke all fired wide with shots in the second half, with Clarke and Cole also having opportunities inside the box, as Parkinson's side tried in vain to get a goal back and a foothold in the game.
Ben Williams had been largely untroubled for most of the second period but Gillingham made the points safe with their first shot on target of the half towards the end of normal time.
Gills replacement Doug Loft got in between McMahon and McArdle to meet Ryan Jackson cushioned ball across the area and crash home from around eight yards out past a helpless City 'keeper.
The Bantams' miserable afternoon was complete in the sixth minute of injury time when Nathan Clarke - a replacement for the injured Burke - was given a straight red card for hauling back Elliott List as the young striker looked to get clean through on goal.
FT: Gillingham 3 Bradford City 0
90+7min: Loft's effort on goal from just outside the box from the resulting free-kick is pushed out by Williams before a lurking Egan bundles the ball wide on the rebound.
90+6min: RED CARD - Nathan Clarke is given a straight red card for pulling down List as the striker looked to race clear into the box. Clarke initially appeared to misjudge a hopeful ball forward by Dack, allowing List to nip in, and the defender has pulled him back to prevent the Gills sub from having a one-on-one with Williams.
90+5min: Gillingham break forward on a dangerous counter-attack but Liddle does well to hold up the progress of Samuel before Williams can kick clear inside the box just ahead of the lurking Dack.
90+3min: SUB - Norris appears to have been injured by McArdle's tackle, with Elliot List taking his place from the bench.
90+2min: Samuel tries to play Norris in with a clear sight of Williams' goal but a great tackle from last-man McArdle just inside the box nicks the ball off the striker's toes.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: GOAL - Gillingham 3 Bradford City 0 - The hosts seal the points in the final stages of the game through substitute Loft. The midfielder gets in between McMahon and McArdle to meet Ryan Jackson's prodded centre across the box and fire home from deep inside the box. Like Dack's opener - the goal came from Gillingham's first shot on target of the half.
88min: McMahon's dipping effort on the half-volley from just outside the area flashes wide of Nelson's near post.
87min: Nathan Clarke's cross into the box from distance has some serious whip and dip on it and a back-tracking Nelson has to gather up to stop the ball from crossing the line.
85min: Billy Clarke receives the ball from Hanson just inside the area but his low left-footed drive flashes a yard or wide of Nelson's far post.
84min: Samuel gets away from Meredith by the byline before firing in a strike from a tight angle that bounces off Williams and up onto the roof of City's net for a Gillingham corner.
83min: So close for City! Reid's teasing cross into the box finds Billy Clarke and Cole lurking from close range. The pair almost seem to get in each other way though, and the attack ends with Clarke hitting the outside of the post with an effort on the stretch from the byline.
79min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Marshall for Darby. Liddle will take over the captain's armband.
79min: After collecting a knock-down from Hanson, Reid takes aim from the edge of the box but his low drives curls comfortably wide of Nelson's goal.
78min: McMahon's corner delivery is cleared as far as the lurking Reid just outside the box. The winger fires for goal, his effort is blocked, before McArdle from inside the area also sees a shot blocked away.
76min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Doug Loft for Josh Wright.
66min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Luke Norris for Donnelly.
65min: McMahon's teasing delivery into the box from a wide free-kick flashes across the six yard box before hitting Cole and bouncing over.
63min: Cole tries to race onto a clipped ball forward but Nelson races outside his area to clear kick for a City throw-in.
61min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Billy Clarke for Knott.
56min: Dack's shot from an indirect free-kick outside the box is blocked before Ehmer from a tight angle by the byline turns the ball behind for a goal kick with a scuffed shot on the turn.
53min: SUB - As Burke is helped down the tunnel and into the dressing rooms with his right wrist being supported, Nathan Clarke is brought onto the pitch to replace him.
51min: Play carries on with Burke still receiving treatment and City temporarily down to ten men. Both City physios are attending to the defender now - unfortunately it doesn't seem too hopeful for Burke's chances of carrying on.
50min: Burke is down receiving treatment for an apparent wrist injury after being nudged into the sponsor hoardings by Samuel as the pair contested the ball by the near touchline.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Gillingham 2 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
45min: James Meredith's cross into the box finds Cole but the striker's header bounces some distance wide of Nelson's goal.
42min: Knott's looping effort on the half-volley from outside the area is grabbed by Nelson on the stretch.
38min: Dack's free-kick into the box eventually drops at the feet of Ehmer but the defender's curling effort from just inside the area sails comfortably wide of Williams' far post.
34min: Garmston's cross into the box drops into the path of Aaron Morris around twelve yards out but the midfielder volleys over in space.
32min: Cole fires over with a great chance for City! Reid's teasing cross into the six yard box falls into the path of the striker but he decides to taking the awkwardly-bouncing ball on with his right foot and his effort flies over the bar from close range.
29min: Liddle's strike from distance has the sting taken out by a partial block from Ehmer and the ball pops up nicely for Nelson to gather inside the box.
27min: McMahon's free-kick delivery from wide into the box flicks off the head of an unmarked Cole and narrowly wide of Nelson's far post. Any goal wouldn't have stood for the Bantams, however, as Cole flagged offside.
24min: How has that not gone in for City?! From the resulting corner delivery by McMahon, Reece Burke sees a header kicked off the line by John Egan. Rory McArdle tries to scramble home to rebound but Nelson somehow manages to cling onto the ball to stop it from rolling over the line.
23min: A clever back-heel pass from Devante Cole sees McMahon in shooting space inside the box. McMahon tries to drill the ball in at the near post but his angled drive is blocked by the frame of Gillingham before Max Ehmer knocks behind for a corner.
18min: A good chance for City. Tony McMahon's free-kick into the box finds the unmarked Gary Liddle but the midfielder's downward header is saved low to his right by Stuart Nelson.
13min: Gillingham could have a third but for a great goal-line clearance from Stephen Darby. Dack plays Donnelly into space in behind City's defence and the striker dinks the ball over the grounded Williams - only for Darby to get back and head clear off the line.
11min: GOAL - Gillingham 2 Bradford City 0 - The Bantams have it all to do now as Gillingham double their lead through Rory Donnelly. The striker plays a one-two with Dack before evading a couple of City defenders and curling an effort into the far corner from an angle inside the box.
9min: Dominic Samuel's low drive from distance is gathered up by Ben Williams at the second attempt.
4min: GOAL - Gillingham 1 Bradford City 0 - The Bantams find themselves behind following Gillingham's first attack of the game. The ball falls kindly into the path of Bradley Dack just outside the box and the attacker rifles a low left-footed drive into the far bottom corner.
0min: Gillingham kick off the match. City will attack towards the open away end in the first half.
GILLINGHAM LINE UP:
Nelson, Jackson, Egan, Ehmer, Garmston, Wright, A Morris, Hessenthaler, Dack, Donnelly, Samuel
Subs: G Morris, Loft, McGlashan, Osadebe, Norris, List, Oshilaja
Norris for Donnelly (66), Loft for Wright (76), List for Norris (90+5)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Liddle, Knott, Reid, Cole, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, N Clarke, Marshall, B Clarke, Leigh, Routis, James
Bradford City changes:
N Clarke for Burke (53), B Clarke for Knott (61), Marshall for Darby (79)
Bradford City dismissals:
N Clarke (90+6)
Referee: P Gibbs
Assistant Referee: D Cook
Assistant Referee: C Pollard
Fourth Official: A Dale