CITY set an unwanted first under Phil Parkinson as they failed the JPT sequel against Barnsley.

There was no biblical rain this time to save them from an immediate exit from the competition for the third year running – and the second successive season at the hands of a Lee Johnson team.

And it meant that the Bantams tasted cup home defeat for the first time in Parkinson’s four-year reign.

The 13th Valley Parade knock-out tie of his command proved unlucky as a proud run of ten wins and two draws came to an end.

It might be a minor competition but that will grate on the City boss, especially with the manner of defeat.

City got the perfect start with a first goal in nine months for cup specialist Billy Knott, who has now scored five of his eight for the club in knock-out games.

But they were overhauled by two headers from set-pieces; both cheaply given up by needless fouls and neither dealt with properly.

And just to add insult to injury, the winner was converted by Barnsley skipper Alfie Mawson – a defender Parkinson tried to bring to Valley Parade in the summer.

The crowd was 1,600 up on last week’s wash-out but Parkinson’s first JPT home game saw the end of an era - and the inviting opportunity of making progress missed.

Instead it will be Johnson’s Barnsley who host York in the area quarter-finals with a real chance of going a lot further.

Parkinson had made six changes from City’s last outing at Rochdale ten days ago – or one from the abortive first attempt to play Barnsley as Rory McArdle’s early return from Finland earned him his usual central defensive slot.

Alongside him, Nathan Clarke was making only his third start as was Luke James partnering James Hanson up front. It was an even bigger night for Greg Leigh, finally making his City debut at left back.

Leigh was straight into the action with a blast into the deserted Bradford End before McArdle defused a penalty-box scramble at the other end.

Mark Marshall’s overhit cross had Barnsley keeper Adam Davies watching his back post anxiously before the game came to life midway through the half.

The speedy Kadeem Harris had the night’s first shot of note and tested Ben Williams after a burst into the box. But City hit straight back through the eager Marshall, who set up the 22nd-minute breakthrough.

His cross was only half-cleared as far as Knott 15 yards out. His first shot was blocked but the rebound sat up nicely and he finished decisively into the bottom corner.

It was Knott’s first appearance on the scoresheet since January and, amazingly, City’s first JPT goal at home for six years. Hanson got the last against Port Vale in November 2009.

Clarke hammered over from distance as confidence rose within the home ranks and they were good value for the lead.

Marshall was exploiting the space left out wide by Barnsley’s three centre-half system and he found a willing assistant in new boy Leigh.

But City’s advantage disappeared with a self-inflicted blow just before the break. Gary Liddle needlessly clipped Conor Hourihane on the touchline and the midfielder’s free-kick was glanced home across a scrum of bodies by Marley Watkins.

That knocked the wind out of City’s sails – Barnsley had offered nothing since the goal - and Hourihane threatened again in added time with a stinging low drive that Williams clung on to.

Hanson’s downward header from a Tony McMahon cross lacked the power to trouble Davies when play resumed.

But the biggest roar was reserved for referee Trevor Kettle actually giving a foul in the striker’s favour after Mawson grabbed his collar.

City narrowly avoided conceding a poor second as they made a mess of Hourihane’s corner. McMahon saved the day with a clearance off the line from Marc Roberts as Barnsley loudly claimed that the ball was in.

Marshall, the pick of the home players, had the crowd buzzing again as he started to get back on the ball and James forced a near-post block from Davies.

But City were then once again undone from another Hourihane set-piece after 69 minutes. Once more it followed a needless foul, this time from Darby, and Mawson converted with a powerful header past the static Williams.

CITY: Williams 6; Darby 6, McArdle 6, Clarke 6, Leigh 7; McMahon 6, Liddle 5 (Evans 73min), Knott 6, Marshall 8; James 6 (Cole 64min), Hanson 6 (Davies 64min). Subs (not used): Meredith, Jones.

BARNSLEY: Davies 7; Roberts 6, Mawson 7, Nyatanga 6; Wabara 5 (Bree 59min), Hourihane 8 (Digby 80min), Pearson 6, Harris 6 (White 65min), Smith 6; Watkins 7, Winnall 6. Subs (not used): Drennan, Townsend.

Attendance: 4,127