Paul Buckle's pacesetting Torquay made it three League Two wins in a row against 10-man Bradford while setting a new club record of 10 successive clean sheets.
United have now not conceded in the league for 961 minutes and were ahead within 90 seconds when Danny Stevens ran from the halfway line and picked his spot with a measured drive from 25 yards that left John McLaughlin with no chance.
The keeper did better shortly after, though, with Chris Zebroski's effort being handled on the line by Robbie Threlfall, who was dismissed, leaving McLaughlin to save Nicky Wroe's penalty.
McLaughlin further impressed with a fine fingertip save to tap Lee Mansell's dipping drive on to the face of the cross bar.
However there was little the Bradford number one could do as he tried to clear from Zebroski again in the 66th minute - with the ball rebounding off United's livewire striker and over the line.
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