Nottingham Forest 1 Bradford City 0

If Nottingham Forest are promotion favourites then City best get some champagne ordered for May.

Although Colin Todd's men fell to defeat on Saturday, they dominated their distinguished hosts for much of the encounter, created a host of chances and had Forest clinging on at the death.

All the pre-season pessimism from City's faithful was quickly ushered away after an encouraging 90 minutes from their new-look squad.

They must have feared the worst when Julian Bennett sneaked in at the back post unmarked to hand Forest an early goal but there was no opening of the floodgates.

City responded positively and went on to create far more chances than their opponents.

Dean Windass twice went close while Lee Holmes, David Graham and Jermaine Johnson all had glorious chances to level the contest.

Windass also had a penalty appeal turned down in injury-time and although Todd reckoned it wasn't worthy of a spot-kick, his furious striker was still arguing with the referee about the incident as the players departed the pitch at the end.

It was easy to understand his frustrations; City had enjoyed so much possession and had so many sights of goal but came away with nothing for their efforts.

The performance bodes well though and it was amazing how quickly Todd's new signings gelled.

Having recruited five players in the previous week, he may have been concerned things would be in a little disarray on the opening day but there was no reason to have been worried.

Ben Parker and Lee Holmes - on loan from Leeds and Derby respectively - formed a new left-sided combination which linked well, especially considering it was 19-year-old Parker's League debut and his team-mate had only arrived at the club on Thursday.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Graham looks like he could be a handful for League One defences again following his prolific loan spell at Huddersfield last season while teenager Nathan Doyle, another capture from Derby, showed great composure when he came on in the middle for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.

Alan Rogers, who actually signed from Forest earlier in the week, didn't make the field but will remember the afternoon having come in for a real verbal bashing from the home fans as he warmed up on the touchline.

The former Leicester left back apparently made a gesture back, a complaint was made and so Todd had three police officers entering his technical area for some words as the second half unfolded.

Forest had their own problems on the pitch much earlier, their star striker Nathan Tyson limping off in only the second minute after being clattered by a vital David Wetherall tackle as he surged into the area.

The way in which he flew past Mark Bower as he raced from halfway showed what a danger he would be so there was relief to see him unable to return.

However, it didn't unsettle the home side and it was Tyson's replacement Grant Holt who produced his own trickery to fool Parker and Wetherall out on the right touchline and create the only goal of the game on ten minutes.

The former Wednesday man sent in a low cross that eluded Jack Lester and the City defence but found Bennett waiting at the far post to slot in from six yards.

Lester, meanwhile, was a real thorn in City's side. The former Sheffield United forward would drop deep to leave Bower in two minds whether to follow and then find space and create most of Forest's best moves as he darted forward.

Bridge-Wilkinson went close with a curling free-kick for City as they had their first real opportunity on 15 minutes and then soon after Holmes missed a glaring chance to mark his debut in style.

It was Windass who pulled off his markers this time, taking possession and then angling a perfect through ball for the left winger to race on to.

Holmes gathered it but his first touch let him down and the England Under-19 international stabbed wide.

It encouraged City though and Graham showed his class with a neat turn and shot from far out which was well blocked.

Windass won a header which Jermaine Johnson latched on to, putting Graham into space, and the Scotsman unleashed a powerful drive first time from 20 metres that required a brilliant save to his right from Forest keeper Paul Smith.

Then Johnson played a crisp one-two with Richard Edghill to get in behind the Forest defence but no one could get on the end of his rifled cross.

Regardless, as half-time approached, you could feel the home fans getting restless and there was further unease when Windass went close after the restart.

A perfectly-weighted clipped pass from Steven Schumacher looped over the Forest backline and saw Winadass finally escaping the clutches of Ian Breckin and Danny Cullip.

He then delicately chipped Smith from the right side of the box and watched as his clever effort beat the keeper but dropped just wide of the far upright.

Forest offered little in attack, especially once Lester departed, and City were invited forward to try and grab the equaliser.

Bridge-Wilkinson raced on to a long clearance that caught Forest sleeping again and, although his first-time cross from the right was cleared, it only went as far as Johnson on the edge of the box.

The Jamaican fired goalwards but again the visitors were denied, this time a Forest leg deflecting it wide just as it was arrowing into the near bottom corner.

Colin Calderwood's men should have finished City off though when Holt somehow slid through Wetherall and Bower at the heart of the defence but Edghill got back and did just enough as the striker dallied in front of Ricketts, forcing Holt into a weak stub that bobbled wide.

And they definitely should have hammered in a nail when Holt was clumsily brought down by Bower in the area on 78 minutes but Neil Harris's spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Ricketts.

The giant keeper had dived past the ball to his right but somehow managed to get one of his big hands back to palm it up and it fell nicely back into his grasp as he recovered.

The let-off rallied City for another go themselves and it looked like they had finally got the equaliser when Eddie Johnson cleverly outfoxed Breckin to get away down the right during stoppage time.

His cross found Windass, who turned and fired but City's luck was out, Smith fortuitously denying him with his feet.

Windass was then dragged down by Nicky Southall as Forest struggled to clear but the official waved play on despite Windass's appeals.