TOWN will have to wait 11 weeks for revenge - time which they desperately need to revive their season.
A fifth home defeat of the campaign leaves Peter Jackson's side with much work to do to put themselves back in the play-off picture.
Only nine points from the last 27 and three defeats out of four at League I level means they are looking more like also-rans at the moment.
Town produced a storming run of six straight wins at this stage last year to provide the backbone of a successful play-off challenge.
This time, they appear to be blowing too hot and cold for that to be a realistic possibility.
Awful in the first half against a well-drilled Bradford, they trailed to Owen Morrison's low 42nd-minute drive and were lucky not to be further adrift.
Jackson switched to 4-4-2 in the second half and was rewarded with a much more positive performance, but it wasn't enough to prevent Colin Todd's battlers chalking only a second win in seven for 3,830 travelling fans in a season-high Galpharm crowd of 17,281.
Those fans have seen Bradford win all five of their Yorkshire derbies this season and Todd is confident they can be among the promotion contenders.
He played the same back four against Town which played in a five-match winning run earlier in the campaign and, while David Wetherall marshalled them superbly, they rode their luck at significant times.
The man to suffer most was Chris Brandon - Bradford-based and a City fan as a kid.
When these teams next meet at Valley Parade in March, fans will still be debating how his 28th minute drive off the inside of Paul Henderson's left hand post didn't end up in the net.
Instead the ball spun back across goal and went out for a goalkick at the other side!
Had Town taken the lead then, after a miserably dull opening spell in which a Pawel Abbott drive over the bar was the only highlight, it would have put a different complexion on the game, but Bradford seemed to take heart and powered back to dominate before the break.
Dean Windass - whose son is in the Town Academy - was up to his old tricks, winning a free-kick from which Mark Bower headed against the bar and then clipping a free-kick against the woodwork himself from a much more advanced position than should have been allowed.
At that stage the tackles were flying in, with Jon Worthington following Windass into the book, but Bradford had the edge and crosses twice flew untouched across the six-yard area either side of Morrison's strike.
It was an excellent break featuring a 40-yard pass from Nicky Summerbee which caught Andy Holdsworth on the hop and gave Morrison the chance to run at Nathan Clarke and David Mirfin just outside the box.
Having cut inside from the left, a low 20-yard drive beat Paul Rachubka, who had earlier had to flap a Summerbee cross over the bar after misjudging the flight.
Mirfin was replaced by Danny Schofield at half time and, with the extra width afforded by 4-4-2, Town looked a much more potent force, even though their passing let them down badly at times.
Morrison wasted a clear early chance for the visitors but then Jackson's side took territorial command, going close with a couple of Abbott snap shots, a Worthington drive and also a downward header from the excellent Nathan Clarke which, perhaps, should have been converted.
There were two more moments when Town's fans were off their seats shouting `goal!'
Firstly, after 68 minutes, Abbott beat the offside flag to meet Brandon's brilliant cross only six yards out and head for goal. The ball bounced out off the righthand post and, quite unbelievably, Junior Mendes fired over from the rebound.
Then, seven minutes from time, Abbott found Brandon with only Henderson to beat but the big keeper sprang superbly to keep out a fierce volley.
It was Town's last hurrah, and they now desperately need to complete a double over Port Vale with a Boxing Day win.
Man of the Match - Chris Brandon. Probably the only Town player to play well for 90 minutes. Unlucky to hit a post first half and then be denied by a brilliant save near the end. Worked hard and creative. Top show.
Paul Rachubka Beaten by Morrison's low 42nd-minute drive, he saved from the same player and Bower as City pushed on Rating: 5/10
How they rated: Andy Holdsworth Caught out of position as Summerbee passed to Morrison for the opening goal. Attacked brightly in the second half Rating: 5/10
Rob Edwards Grafted hard but his distribution let him down at times as Town struggled to find a proper rhythm Rating: 5/10
Nathan Clarke The best of Town's back line, looking safe and sure and pushed forward to good effect using a long throw well Rating: 7/10
Efe Sodje Arrived late because of traffic problems but did a solid job against Abbey. Got better as the game went on Rating: 6/10
David Mirfin Will learn a lot from his tussle with Windass. He was taken off at half time as Peter Jackson changed formation Rating: 5/10
Tony Carss Had a wild whack at a decent shooting chance in the second half. Tried hard to open Bradford up. Clever corner routine Rating: 6/10
Jon Worthington Had a bruising battle with big Lee Crooks but never shirked a tackle. Passing was off at times but his workrate was excellent Rating: 7/10
Chris Brandon Involved in all the best things Town produced. Desperately unlucky with a shot off the post first half. Top display Rating: 8/10
Pawel Abbott Would have scored with a stooping header nine times out of 10 but, this time, his effort bounced out off the lefthand post Rating: 6/10
Junior Mendes Missed a glorious chance to equalise after Abbott's header bounced out, firing over from six yards out Rating: 5/10
Spotlight on the ref:
NOTTINGHAM official Phil Joslin was making his second appearance of the season at the Galpharm having handled the 0-0 draw against Chesterfield and, just like he did on that occasion, he made some unnecesary stops to play which infuriated both teams. At times he showed commendable restraint in not reaching for a card and yet, on other occasions, he would blow for the slightest thing. Several advantages were wrongly handled and, when Windass hit a post, he allowed a free-kick to be taken far too far forward.
Henderson; Holloway, Wetherall, Bower, Emanuel, Summerbee, Crooks, Schumacher, Morrison (Muirhead 90), Abbey (Symes 76), Windass.
Subs not used: Ricketts, Gavin, Swift.