Stuart McCall’s men recorded their first win of pre-season at Gateshead on Saturday afternoon in preparation for a week-long stay in Scotland.
First half goals from Billy Clarke and Paul Anderson had the Bantams in cruise control at the interval after the pair had benefited from some superb wing play by Mark Marshall. City conceded a late penalty to the hosts in injury time but still managed to secure a 2-1 victory at Gateshead International Stadium.
The vast majority of City's starting XI in the match were given at least 60 minutes, with Jordy Hiwula making his first appearance in Bradford colours in the second half.
Filipe Morais was also given run-out in the second period after a minor knee problem had ruled him out of City's opening friendly at Guiseley last weekend.
Recent signings Colin Doyle and Timothee Dieng began the game before being substituted after the break.
Reece Styche could have given Gateshead an early lead but he fired over from deep inside the box after beating Doyle to a bouncing ball.
James Hanson went close on two separate occasions in the first half, his first headed effort crashed against the bar before his second went inches over the bar, both chances carved from Marshall’s excellent play on the right flank.
Clarke's opening goal came after fifteen minutes when he expertly fired home on the volley via the inside of the post from a Marshall cross.
The Bantams' second came just before the break when Anderson swooped to send a diving header past Gateshead 'keeper Sam Johnstone after another Marshall had looped up into his path.
Nicky Law and Dieng, two of Stuart McCall’s summer acquisitions paired up well in the first half and controlled the game brilliantly from the middle of the park, offering a real element of calm to City’s play.
Gateshead came out for the second half with much more spark and intent in their play but they couldn’t quite find their way past a resolute back line of Bradford defence.
They enjoyed a greater say in the second period following City's opening half dominance, but this was due in part to McCall's giving some of his younger players an opportunity later in the game.
Law was required to kick clear off his own line from a Gateshead corner but the Bantams were still looking comfortable in the July sunshine.
Just after the hour mark City made six subs and among those, the latest summer signing Hiwula got his first outing since arriving at the club on loan from Championship neighbours Huddersfield Town on Friday.
Hiwula only had one chance of note in the half an hour he spent on the pitch and it was one that he connected with well, but he couldn’t quite keep his rising drive underneath the crossbar after he’d latched onto Morais’ low cutback.
Another of City's substitutes, a trialist midfielder, also went close in the half when he fired straight at Dan Hanford from a good position inside the box.
Apprentice trio Tom Windle, Niah Payne and Alex Laird were all given brief cameos late on and it was unfortunately a tired mistake by their academy team mate Kwame Boateng that allowed Gateshead a chance from the penalty spot.
Boateng performed admirably and completed a full 90 minutes at left back, with only Nathan Clarke being the other player to do so.
Shortly after Clarke had blocked an effort from James Bolton on the line, Boateng tripped Wes York in the box to give Heed an opportunity for a consolation goal.
Ryan Bowman dispatched the penalty confidently past substitute stopper Joe Cracknell, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a side-foot finish.
Despite the late goal conceded, it was overall a good work out for McCall’s men against a hard working side in Gateshead. P
re-season steps up a gear now with two more friendlies in the next seven days; a trip to St.Johnstone on Tuesday evening followed by a return to Valley Parade to host Premier League new-boys Burnley next Saturday.
Attendance: 687 (including 204 visitors)
Bradford Scorers: Billy Clarke (15), Paul Anderson (45)
Starting Line-Up (4-4-2): Doyle, McMahon, N,Clarke, Knight-Percival, Boateng, Marshall, Law, Dieng, Anderson, B.Clarke, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell for Doyle (61), Hiwula for Hanson (61), Trialist for Dieng (61), Webb-Foster for B.Clarke (61), Devine for Anderson (61), Windle for McMahon (77), Morais for Marshall (77), Payne for Law (77), Laird for Knight-Percival (77)