Bradford-born Clayton Donaldson was key to ending his hometown club’s hopes of getting anything in the capital.
City’s plan to frustrate high-flying Brentford worked for an hour before they were undone by the big frontman’s 20-yard strike.
And boss Phil Parkinson could barely hide his frustration after watching his side concede another long-range effort.
“We had spoken about how Brentford’s last three goals were all shots from distance and we had worked on getting out quickly to block shots,” he said. “The one time we didn’t, we were punished. If we’d have held on for another 10 minutes at 0-0 you could sense the crowd were getting frustrated and I was confident we would end up getting something.
“The goal gave a good team a huge lift and from there on in it was always going to be tough.”
The first half had been a pretty stagnant affair with neither side able to get a shot on target, Chris Atkinson going closest for the Bantams.
Brentford turned up the pressure after the break and when Donaldson was finally given a sight of goal he broke the deadlock.
Jon McLaughlin saved superbly from Jake Bidwell, Marcello Trotta and Jake Reeves who was also denied by a Carl McHugh block. But, with 15 minutes remaining, George Saville doubled the home side’s advantage with a deflected effort.
Andy Gray’s header from a Gary Jones corner was as close as Bradford came to scoring.
Brentford: Button; McCormack, Bidwell, Craig, Tarkowski; Saville, Forshaw (Reeves 63), Douglas; Grigg (Trotta 66), Donaldson (Dallas 87), Judge. Unused substitutes: Lee, O’Connor, Dallas, Fillo, Yennaris.
Bradford City: McLaughlin; Darby, Bates, McArdle, McHugh (Drury 84); Jones, Doyle, Atkinson (Gray 72), Bennett, Reach; Mclean (Thompson 84). Unused substitutes: McBurnie, Stockdill, Yeates, Jameson.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)
Man of the match: Jon McLaughlin.