A moment of magic from Lloyd Kerry with 15 minutes remaining earned Town all three points in action packed Yorkshire derby at the Utilita Energy Stadium.
The midfielder timed his run to perfection to convert Jack Muldoon’s cross to net his third goal of the season and continue Town’s impressive start to life in Sky Bet League Two.
Simon Weaver made four changes from the side that started the previous league game at home to Bolton Wanderers, with Warren Burrell, Jon Stead, Kerry and the fit again Muldoon replacing Dan Jones, Connor Kirby, Mark Beck and Aaron Martin.
The hosts made three changes from their previous outing, with Anthony O’Connor, Gareth Evans and Clayton Donaldson coming into the starting line-up.
Unbeaten in their opening two games away from home it was Town who made the early running, with the right-hand side combination of Ryan Fallowfield and George Thomson immediately involved.
The hosts almost punished Town with their first attack of the game though with Donaldson pouncing on Connor Hall’s mistake to set up top scorer Lee Novak, with birthday boy James Belshaw having to react smartly to keep the danger at bay.
Town immediately reacted, however, with former-Bantam Stead fashioning himself an opportunity but his off-balance shot failed to test Richard O’Donnell in the home goal.
O’Donnell was again called into action moments later when, after spilling Kerry’s shot from distance, he quickly recovered to thwart the onrushing Stead.
Skipper Josh Falkingham was the first name to go in referee Drysdale’s book for a typically robust challenge in the midfield area.
Belshaw was then called back into action, saving smartly from Donaldson, before Town came closest to breaking the deadlock. An energetic Muldoon run resulted in his pinpoint cross being met by Stead, but his goal bound header was brilliantly tipped aside by O’Donnell.
At half-time the home side made their first change of the night with Callum Cooke replacing Evans. And Cooke made an immediate impact after the break when he ran onto Donaldson’s clever through-ball, but he dragged his effort wide of Belshaw’s goal.
On the hour mark Stead was again busy in the home box his low effort was comfortably dealt with by O’Donnell.
Both sides continued to press for the win in a game that was marked by its quality and it was a moment of high class that broke the deadlock.
Muldoon’s run saw him get beyond Wood down the right and his low cross was perfectly met by Kerry at the near post, with the midfielder guiding the ball into the far corner.
Bradford made their third and final substitution shortly after, with Kurtis Guthrie replacing Donaldson with Town making a pair of changes of their own, with the hard-working duo of Stead and Muldoon replaced by Aaron Martin and Brendan Kiernan.
Kiernan almost sealed the game just seconds after coming on with a smart header from Calvin Miller’s cross and some combative defending over the final minutes ensured Town were victorious.
The win saw Town remain unbeaten and yet to concede a goal on their travels, moving up to eighth spot in the process with eight points from their opening five games.
Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Burrell, Smith, Hall, Thomson, Falkingham, Kerry, Miller, Stead (Martin, 80), Muldoon (Kiernan, 82).
Subs not used: Cracknell, Jones, Kirby, Walker.
Booked: Falkingham (19)
Goal: Kerry (74)
Bradford: O’Donnell, French, Wood, Staunton, O’Connor, Watt, Evans (Cooke, 45) Sutton, Clarke (Samuels, 69), Novak, Donaldson (Guthrie, 80)
Subs not used: Hornby, Hosannah, Richards-Everton, Pritchard.
Booked: French (59), Watt (76)
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Report by Danny Pugsley.