The majority of the 15,000-plus crowd were left hugely disappointed by City's display against the promoted visitors, who were on top for much of the match.
Bradford made two changes from the side that beat Burton 1-0 in midweek. Riley returned at right-back for Kelvin Mellor and Sherwin Seedorf had recovered from a cut foot to replace George Miller, initially up front.
Wycombe defender Adam El-Abd had not recovered from a thigh injury sustained in the 1-1 draw against Plymouth so his replacement shortly before the break, Sido Jombati, continued to deputise.
Jombati cleared over his bar under pressure from Seedorf as Eoin Doyle crossed from the right in the early stages.
Bryn Morris volleyed narrowly over from the edge of the area as Wycombe pressure built.
The Chairboys went ahead in the 28th minute when Richard O'Donnell missed his punch from Joe Jacobson's corner and Mackail-Smith raced in to head in virtually on the line at the far post.
A long-range drive from Doyle drew ironic cheers from the Kop as the visitors continued to look the better side.
Three back-passes in quick succession from Anthony O'Connor brought a chorus of boos but City forced four corners ahead of the break only to be repelled by Wycombe.
Mackail-Smith teed up right-back Jason McCarthy for a drive which O'Donnell beat away soon after the break.
It was 2-0 in the 52nd-minute, however, when Matt Bloomfield crossed from the right, Dominic Gape clipped the ball into the path of the onrushing Morris, who mishit his eight-yard shot only for the ball to deflect in off Riley with O'Donnell wrong-footed.
city responded with George Miller replacing Seedorf and Colville coming on for Hope Akpan in the 56th minute.
Scannell hobbled off to be replaced by Jordan Gibson, whose cross-shot almost caught Ryan Allsop napping before he palmed it away from under his bar.
O'Donnell went full length to deny Morris and punched away the ensuing corner.
City's defence was given a sizeable task to cope with in the shape of Adebayo Akinfenwa when he replaced Mackail-Smith in the 71st minute.
City almost struck in the 76th minute when Payne's cross was met by Miller's far-post downward header but Allsop's left hand prevented Doyle applying the finishing touch.
Colville gave city some hope by hitting home from 14 yards just before five minutes of stoppage time were signalled following a miscued cross-shot from Gibson.
Miller had a shot on the turn blocked before time ran out for City.