Despite a Matt Birchall second-half strike, City’s Under-18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup in a 3-1 defeat at Salford.
The young Bantams were unable to resist a flurry of first-half goals as they exited the competition on away soil.
Salford started brightly and were able to maintain a high tempo throughout the opening 45 minutes.
Douglas James-Taylor proved lethal for the hosts and he almost opened the scoring three minutes in. His connection, on a Harry Hatton lofted pass, only narrowly missed the left post.
Eliot Goldthorp fired a free-kick at Salford keeper George Neave shortly after - but the ball was cleared off the line.
The opener came after 25 minutes, however. Taylor Dyson played in a deep free-kick and it was met by the head of Sam Adetiloye.
The pressure continued from there.
James-Taylor’s looped header forced Alfie Darke to tip the ball over the bar. The resulting corner was headed in on goal again by the striker, beating the keeper, but Jeremie Milambo was there to scoop it off the line.
Jake Maltby was caught in possession for the second goal as City looked to play it out from the back.
The ball was picked off by Kamar Moncrieffe, who poked it across to James-Taylor. He hammered it home to make it 2-0.
Two minutes later they were caught out again at the back. James-Taylor got in on the right, firing at goal. Darke’s save rebounded out to Harry Hatton, who put it in the back of the net for a three-goal lead at the break.
City were out early after the break and responded in the 47th minute.
Christian Farrar’s brilliant skill saw him ease past Sam Wright and he put Birchall clear on goal. His solo effort was enough to beat the keeper through his legs to get City on the scoreboard.
The Bantams were much improved during the second half but were unable to break down their opponents.
Birchall went close again - with an improvised half-volley - while Farrar had a powerful effort deflected wide in the minutes which followed.
Goldthorp looked a handful for the visiting Bantams from set pieces and caused a late scare with minutes remaining. A powerful drive across goal failed to gain any form of connection, which would’ve resulted in an inevitable goal.
SALFORD: George Neave; Joel Barlow, Sam Wright, Brandon Lockett (Dan Edwards 80’), Markell Foulds; Sam Adetiloye, Harry Hatton (Mani Ogunrinde 86’), Alex Doyle; Dougles James-Taylor 9, Kamar Moncrieffe, Taylor Dyson.
GOALS: Adetiloye (26), James-Taylor (37), Hatton (39).
BANTAMS: Aflie Darke; Hayden Smethurst, Jorge Sikora, Reece Staunton, Jeremie Milambo (Finn Cousin-Dawson 57’); Jake Maltby, Eliot Goldthorp, Matt Birchall; Connor Shanks (Wade Ripley 88’), Christian Farrar (Dan Aitken 80’), Kielen Adams.
GOALS: Birchall (47).
REFEREE: Conor Brown