Bradford (Park Avenue) swept ten-man York City aside at Bootham Crescent.
The opening ten minutes were cagey, and it was York that found their rhythm first. The visitors found themselves pinned in their own half and Shane Killock was forced to launch himself in front of a Jordan Burrow shot to keep the scores level.
Bradford, however, grew into the game and began asking questions of a disjointed York backline.
Jamie Spencer found Nicky Wroe with a perfectly executed lofted pass but the midfielder lifted his effort over the crossbar.
The Minstermen launched a swift counter-attack but Steven Drench was on-hand to palm Burrow’s flick away from danger at point blank range.
Drama then ensued at Bootham Crescent when York captain Joe Tait saw red. Jake Beesley fell to the ground inside the box after a tussle with Tait and after the defender received his marching orders, a penalty was awarded.
Beesley made no mistake from 12-yards, stepping up confidently and steering the ball past Adam Bartlett.
The lead was nearly doubled when Conor Branson connected with Lewis Knight’s free-kick delivery, but Bartlett held the header.
Branson then tried his luck with a long-range piledriver as the interval approached but his speculative effort sailed over the woodwork.
HALF-TIME: York City 0-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
Bradford raced out of the blocks after the restart and it didn’t take long for the visitors to add to their advantage. Knight drilled a cross in from the right, enabling Beesley to volley into the roof of the net and pile misery on ten-man York.
Just three minutes later, Bradford netted a third when Spencer’s stunning long-range strike found the top corner in sensational fashion.
As York’s desire for a goal intensified, they piled bodies forward in desperate search of a way back into a game that seemed beyond them.
Adriano Moke pulled back to substitute Jon Parkin, but the robust forward’s shot was blocked by Killock.
The Minstermen eventually found a way through when Sean Newton curled into the top corner from a free-kick.
The hosts then went close through debutant Lewis Hawkins, who saw his thunderous effort tipped over the crossbar by the outstretched glove of Drench.
Bradford remained a threat despite their comfortable lead and Ben McKenna saw a shot blocked after firing into a sea of bodies.
McKenna then notched Bradford’s fourth, firing into the top corner after Knight accelerated away from Allan and squared to the substitute.
Alex Hurst looked set to add a fifth as the full-time whistle approached, but his shot was blocked by Allan after weaving his way past two defenders.
FULL-TIME: York City 1-4 Bradford (Park Avenue)
York City: Bartlett, Law, Newton, Allan, Tait (c), Griffiths (Langstaff 78’), Harris (Bencherif 27’), Moke, Burrow, Wright (Parkin 45’), Hawkins.
Unused substitutes: Ferguson, Dyer.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Clee, Wroe, Killock (c), Havern, Spencer (Hurst 84’), Branson, Beesley, Johnson (McKenna 51’), Knight (Nowakowski 83’).
Unused substitutes: Toulson, Atkinson.
Referee: Scott Simpson
Attendance: 2, 289 (198 Bradford supporters)