City, backed by a noisy 4,300 travelling support, displayed the purer footballing traits, but failed to significantly trouble the Wanderers backline.
Bolton went closest to a breakthrough just over 20 seconds in, when the recalled Jay Spearing saw his piledriver beaten away by Colin Doyle with Nathianel Knight-Percival then making a key clearing header after a cross was played back into the box to deny ex-Bradford forward Jamie Proctor.
Despite the blistering start from Bolton, chances were at a premium, with the hosts’ other chief threatening moment coming on 27 minutes when the ball found its way to Sammy Ameobi in a good position on the left, but his goalbound low shot was blocked in the nick of time.
David Wheater nodded wide from James Henry’s resultant corner.
At the other end, City only produced half chances, with a Mark Marshall shot easily held by Mark Howard and Timothee Dieng ballooning an effort over, with some decent approach play invariably breaking down in the final third for the visitors.
A heated moment arrived on 37 minutes when Josh Vela became the second player to be caitioned for a foul on Josh Cullen, with Spearing also penalised for a heavy challenge on the City loanee earlier in proceedings.
Bolton Wanderers: Howard; Buxton, Wheater, Beevers, Moxey; Henry, Vela, Spearing, Trotter; Proctor, Ameobi. Substitutes unused: Alnwick, C Taylor, Clough, Derik, A Taylor, Wilson, Thorpe.
Bradford City: Doyle; Darby, Vincelot, Knight-Percival, Meredith; Marshall, Cullen, Dieng, Law; B Clarke, McNulty. Substitutes unused: Sattelmaier, Hiwula, Vuckic, Marshall, McArdle, Devine, Kilgallon.
Referee: M Heywood (Cheshire).
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