City’s Under-18s side missed out on the chance to return to the top of the EFL Youth Alliance North East Division, after losing 2-0 at Grimsby.
A goal in each half did the damage for the Mariners, claiming the points with a scoreline perhaps harshly represented over the course of the game from a Bantams perspective.
Despite controlling large parts of the match, a slow start saw the hosts take the lead on 14 minutes.
Brandon Buckley’s centre was sent goalward by Rumarn Burrell and, although Alfie Darke kept the initial effort out, the ball ricocheted back off Jorge Sikora and rolled into the net for an own goal.
City dominated the remainder of the first period and thought they had drawn level after half an hour.
Hayden Smethurst drove the ball towards goal and Connor Shanks prodded home from close range, only for the linesman’s flag to deny the young Bantams, despite a Grimsby player appearing to be stood on the goal-line.
Although still seeing more of the ball after the interval, City lacked a cutting edge in the second period and, but for a few half-chances for Kielen Adams, rarely threatened.
Grimsby wrapped up the points in the dying seconds as substitutes Luis Aolard and Lennon Stead combined.
The former played the latter in one-on-one and he made no mistake, finishing past Darke to seal a score line slightly harsh on the brave young Bantams.
The result sees Grimsby go top and City fall to fourth, despite only being two points behind the new leaders and still baring a game in hand over all of the top three.
Mark Trueman’s side will look to bounce back when entertaining Burton Albion on Saturday afternoon.
CITY: Alfie Darke; Hayden Smethurst (Wade Ripley 85’), Jorge Sikora (Finn Cousin-Dawson 45+2’), Reece Staunton, Jeremie Milambo; Jake Maltby, Kian Scales (Dan Francis 61’); Christian Farrar, Matt Birchall, Connor Shanks (Eddy Prata 55’); Kielen Adams.
GRIMSBY: Ollie Battersby; Tom Jamieson, Mattie Pollock, Emil Powles, Ollie Saunders; Jock Curran; Brandon McPherson (Joe Starbuck 55’), Kyle Richardson, Conley Poynter; Brandon Buckley (Luis Aolard 76’); Rumarn Burrell (Lennon Stead 76’). SUBS (not used): Owen Davoy, Josh Smalley.
GOALS: Sikora (OG, 14’), Stead (88’).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jeremie Milambo.