“IT’S A Bantams thing” is the proud motto for the latest season-ticket campaign launched this week.

Sadly, as many of those who will no doubt snap up the offer will tell you, so is losing to teams you expect to beat.

Forest Green, the vegan warriors of League Two, were never going to be meat and drink for City.

And so it proved as Steve Cotterill’s side bagged a fourth win in seven games to move out the drop zone – and consign Valley Parade to a huge night of frustration after the high of Accrington three days before.

As adverts to book your seats for the next campaign, the fare was as appetising as as a day-old Quorn burger.

Christian Doidge, the striker that Sam Walker had warned about, did the damage to top and tail a miserable evening for those in claret and amber.

Forest Green can suddenly see the wood from the trees at the wrong end of the table. 

But the stakes had been just as high in City’s eyes in terms of hunting down the top seven as they began a run of three straight Valley Parade outings.

Whether the pitch can hold up for all of that remains a constant question with fans but referee Simon Mather was happy enough with its condition when he arrived at 4pm.

Graham Alexander was able to name the same side that had dismantled Accrington inside 45 minutes on Saturday.

Tyreik Wright was gritting his teeth and playing through the pain from that whack on the left foot he suffered.

But City suffered an immediate collective blow by conceding inside the first minute.

Jonathan Tomkinson gave away a cheap corner straight from Forest Green's kick-off and Dominic Thompson’s cross was nodded home by Christian Doidge with no claret and amber shirt patrolling the near post.

It was a shock to the system that nobody saw coming but City tried to clear their heads fairly quickly, although Brad Halliday should have showed more composure with a snatched volley over the bar.

The atmosphere understandably felt flat, though, at seeing the feelgood factor from Accrington punctured so suddenly.

Forest Green’s small travelling contingent were making the noise and nearly had more to cheer as Charlie McCann fired over from a pass by Emmanuel Osadebe.

The former Bantam was subjected to the occasional “City reject” chant but would have been loving the start of his Valley Parade return.

Wright had been quiet so far but flicked a header wide from Clarke Oduor’s cross.

City had not got into their stride and a Kelly pass flew straight into the away dug-out to some groans from the crowd.

Wright offered some hope with a flick into the side-netting after Lewis Richards drilled a ball to the near post. Then he had a shot blocked after Halliday teed him up in the box.

Wright was getting closer and almost had an equaliser on 40 minutes, smuggling Richie Smallwood’s cross inside the post where a combination of keeper and defender just about managed to keep it out.

But it all felt a bit flat both on and off the pitch – and the silence was punctured by some boos as the half-time whistle blew.

Jamie Walker’s arrival after the interval gave the mood a much-needed lift, Liam Ridehalgh making way as Alexander switched to a 4-3-3.

The Scot made an instant impact, nicking the ball off McCann on halfway and feeding Wright for a low drive held by Vicente Reyes.

Walker had pepped up the Bantams and keeper Reyes was trying to kill as many seconds as he could every time he got the ball – much to the annoyance of the Kop behind him.

Jamie Robson did get booked for time-wasting over a throw-in but Forest Green sent out another warning as Tyrese Omotoye flashed a shot across goal.

Oduor conjured a chance for himself and his rasping effort was punched away by Reyes. That proved the City man’s final action as he made way in a double change that saw Calum Kavanagh and Harry Chapman thrown on.

Osadebe frustrated his former fans by staying down in the Forest Green box after a challenge – only to get straight back up once the ref had stopped play.

Forest Green were in survival mode as City huffed and puffed but struggled to find a way through to create something clear cut.

Andy Cook had scored in each of the four previous meetings with Forest Green. But he was getting little change out of giant marker Ryan Inniss.

He nearly got on the end of a long ball but caught Reyes in the challenge, allowing the on-loan Norwich man to milk a bit more time.

Tyler Smith replaced Richards as City used every attacking option possible for the final 10 minutes.

But it was a defender who came close as Ciaran Kelly’s header from Chapman's early cross landed on the roof of the net.

With so many forward, City were almost caught out by Marcel Lavinier’s break but McCann blazed wastefully over.

The Bantams looked to have an equaliser in the 89th minute but Walker was denied by an instinctive save on the line by Reyes.

The rebound then cannoned goal-wards off Robson but skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor saved his team-mate with a sliding block as City appealed in vain that the ball had crossed the line.

And it got worse in added time as Kelly tripped McCann on another Forest Green counter and Doidge hammered home the penalty.