BRADFORD chief Stuart McCall was enraged his side were not awarded a second penalty as their unbeaten start to the season came to an end.
The high-flying Bantams were the only side left in the country to be unbeaten in all competitions before going down 1-0 at Oxford United.
Chris Maguire’s super stoppage-time free-kick was the difference at the Kassam.
Billy Clarke missed a penalty in the first half and right at the end Joe Rothwell appeared to push Romain Vincelot at a corner, but the referee waved away appeals for a second.
“That was hard to take,” said McCall. “The lad is 100 per cent adamant he was fouled and it should have been a penalty. He was about to shoot – and score. Why would he have gone down if he wasn’t fouled?
“The funny thing is, with this set of players, I fully expected us to score when we got that penalty. That’s how much belief I have in them.
“Overall we were terrific, and Oxford are a decent side who will cause a lot of teams problems, especially at their stadium.
“I don’t like losing. We had two gilt-edged chances and missed a penalty. But it’s gone and we have to kick on again, on Tuesday.”
Maguire was smartly kept out twice by Colin Doyle before the missed penalty. Charlie Raglan tripped Timothee Dieng to concede the spot-kick, but Clarke smashed it against the bar.
Maguire grabbed all three points with a sublime free-kick from 23 yards out.
Oxford United: Eastwood, Edwards, Dunkley, Raglan, Ruffels, MacDonald (Hemmings 66), Rothwell, Lundstram, Maguire, Thomas (Johnson 39), Taylor. Unused substitutes: Nelson, Crowley, Buchel, Tyler Roberts, Long.
Bradford City: Doyle, Darby, Vincelot, Knight-Percival, Meredith (Kilgallon 48), Marshall (Morais 62), Dieng, Cullen, Law, Billy Clarke, Hiwula (McNulty 63). Unused substitutes: Sattelmaier, Vuckic, McArdle, Devine.
Referee: D Webb (Co Durham).
Man of the match: Nicky Law.