The Forest Green captain scored with a close-range header when the Bradford defence failed to clear a right-wing cross in the third of the 11 minutes referee Andy Haines added on at the end of the match.
Rovers defender Matt Mills was then sent off for a second bookable offence - the referee also booked 10 other players - before Kelvin Mellor thought he had earned a point for the hosts with virtually the last kick of the match only for his effort to be ruled offside.
There were few chances in the opening period of the first meeting between the two clubs, Bradford captain James Vaughan seeing a header saved while Jordan Gibson saw his fierce effort go agonisingly wide of thepost.
The visitors’ best effort came in first-half stoppage time when captain Joseph Mills’s 25-yard free-kick was smartly saved by Richard O’Donnell.
Bradford came close to taking the lead in 77th minute when Clayton Donaldson had a header saved by Joe Wollacott and then Vaughan had a shot blocked.