Paul Huntington scored the game’s only goal as Carlisle extended a 37-year unbeaten home streak against Bradford with a 1-0 Sky Bet League Two win at Brunton Park.
The Cumbrians dominated the first half against a Bradford side playing for the first time in 23 days.
Harry Lewis rescued the rusty Bantams with a string of fine saves, firstly from a one-on-one with Jon Mellish after 11 minutes.
Brad Halliday then scrambled away Jack Stretton’s cross in the six-yard box before Lewis again denied Carlisle with a tip-over the bar from Callum Guy.
There was a stroke of fortune about his next save as Morgan Feeney’s close-range prod deflected off the keeper’s knee on the line.
Lewis was finally beaten on 34 minutes, however, when Huntington headed home a Taylor Charters corner.
Jordan Gibson and Mellish both wasted gilt-edged chances to increase Carlisle’s lead early in the second half.
They were almost made to pay when Andy Cook shot wide and then headed past the post after Richie Smallwood picked him out.
Lewis pulled off another save from Owen Moxon’s free-kick but the hosts were well worth the three points which moved them up to fourth in the table.