Saturday 18 May 2013
npower League 2 Play-Off Final
Bradford City 3 (Hanson 15, McArdle 19, Wells 28)
Northampton Town 0
Kick Off: 1.30pm
at Wembley Stadium
(Pictures kindly provided by Gintare Karpaviciute)
The Bantams have been promoted to League 1 thanks to a deserved victory over Northampton Town in the League 2 Play-Off Final.
First half goals from James Hanson, Rory McArdle and Nahki Wells proved enough to secure a comfortable win at Wembley and a safe passage into the third tier for Phil Parkinson's men.
After victory was registered, Bantams skipper Gary Jones lifted the npower League 2 Play-Off trophy to spark scenes of mass celebrations among the Bantams ranks.
The win secured City's first promotion since 1999 and capped off a truly unbelievable season for Parkinson's squad
All three goals came within the first half an hour of the contest, pushing City firmly into the driving seat by half time.
The Bantams were in the lead after fifteen minutes when Hanson sent a looping header past Northampton 'keeper Lee Nicholls following Garry Thompson's clipped cross into the middle.
Things got even better for Parkinson's side just four minutes later when McArdle swooped to head home Nathan Doyle's near post cross.
A third for City came two minutes before the half hour mark when Thompson headed Kyel Reid's flighted cross back across goal for Wells to steer home on the volley from inside the six yard box.
City's three-goal lead established, they never released their hold on the game for the rest of the final to cap a brilliant day of celebration for the club.
FT: Bradford City 3 Northampton Town 0
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the final.
88min: YELLOW CARD - Hanson is booked for a catching Cameron in the face with his boot as the pair tangle for a hanging ball in the air.
88min: O'Donovan's header forward following Davies' initial headed clearance from a Tozer long throw-in into the area.
87min: SUB - City bring on Ricky Ravenhill for Doyle.
85min: SUB - City bring on Alan Connell for Wells.
84min: YELLOW CARD - Nathan Doyle is booked for taking out Widdowson with a late tackle out on Northampton's left flank.
80min: Carlisle flicks a header wide of McLaughlin's goal following a long Tozer throw-in into the area.
78min: SUB - City bring on Will Atkinson for Reid.
78min: Harding fires well over the bar with a half-volley from just outside the area following Guttridge's ball into his path.
70min: SUB - Northampton bring on Lewis Hornby for Demontagnac.
67min: Wells' low strike from just inside the area following Meredith's ball into his path is saved by his near post by Nicholls.
67min: YELLOW CARD - Carlisle is booked for blocking off Reid as the winger looks to burst down City's left flank.
65min: Ishmel Demontagnac tries his luck from distance but his half-volley loops well over the bar.
63min: Reid side-foots a low volley a few yards wide of goal after latching onto Wells' far post cross.
62min: Akinfenwa's shot on the turn from inside the area following a Northampton wide free-kick sails a good few yards wide.
61min: After running into the open space in front of him, Thompson eventually fires a low angled drive from inside the area a few yards wide of Nicholls' far post.
57min: City fans stand to applaud and mark the 56 victims of the Valley Parade Fire Disaster.
55min: SUB - Northampton bring on Adebayo Akinfenwa for Platt.
53min: SUB - Northampton bring on Joe Widdowson for Lee Collins.
51min: James Meredith's long throw-in into the area causes a moment's panic in the Northampton defence as they fail to clear their lines. A combination of Hanson and Carlisle go for the bouncing ball and Nicholls has to spring across his goal to stop it from dropping into the far corner.
48min: McLaughlin has to race to just outside his area to head clear after O'Donovan had looked to race onto a big kick forward from Nicholls.
46min: City restart the final.
HT: Bradford City 3 Northampton Town 0
45+4min: Carlisle leaps highest to reach Tozer's free-kick into the area from deep but his header goes a few yards wide of goal.
45min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
42min: O'Donovan header from around fourteen yards out following Chris Hackett's curling cross into the box sails a good few yards wide of goal.
39min: O'Donovan keeps Harding far post cross in play but his header back across goal is gathered at his near post by Jon McLaughlin.
33min: Thompson's hooked ball over the top sees Wells race for goal after beating Clarke Carlisle for pace. With the Northampton defender still at his back though, Wells can only scuff a weak shot that trickles weakly to Nicholls.
32min: Darby's long throw into the area eventually bounces into the path of Reid and the winger's header for goal has to be tipped over by Nicholls.
30min: YELLOW CARD - O'Donovan is booked for bringing down Reid as the left winger burst down the wing.
28min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 3 Northampton Town 0 - City have a third of the match! Reid's cross is headed down by Thompson and Wells is on hand to convert from inside the six yard box.
27min: A long throw-in from Stephen Darby eventually finds Wells by the near post but his effort goal from a tight angle by the byline is blocked out by the chest of Nicholls.
26min: Tozer's long ball forward from just inside City's half is headed a good few yards wide by Platt inside the Bantams' penalty box.
25min: O' Donovan is back on the field.
24min: Roy O'Donovan is off the pitch for Northampton after the referee spots he has a cut around his face.
24min: Wells' shot on the spin from around the edge of the area is saved with relative ease by Nicholls.
20min: YELLOW CARD - Clive Platt is booked for catching Davies high in the head as the pair challenge for an aerial ball.
19min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 2 Northampton Town 0 - City have doubled their advantage through Rory McArdle! Kyel Reid over-hits his cross slightly following another short corner but Nathan Doyle is on hand over on the far side to cross the ball back in and McArdle swoops to head home at the near post.
15min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Northampton Town 0 - City have the lead! Garry Thompson's clipped cross to the waiting James Hanson is headed for goal by the big striker and the effort loops over Lee Nicholls and into the net.
9min: Harding is now back on the pitch for Northampton.
9min: Nathan Cameron produces a superb diving tackle to prevent Wells from racing onto a Hanson flick-on the edge of Northampton's area. That block was certainly a vital one for Northampton as Wells was through on goal otherwise.
7min: Play now carries on as Harding, now complete with hand bandage, steps off the pitch to receive more treatment.
5min: There is a brief stoppage to play as Ben Harding receives treatment for a nasty cut to his head after Andrew Davies had accidently caught the Northampton man in the face as City defended a long Ben Tozer throw into the area.
4min: Stretching back to reach a Gary Jones cross following a short City corner, Wells can only head well over the bar from around eight yards out.
3min: Nahki Wells fires a few yards over the bar with a free-kick from roughly 25 yards out.
0min: Northampton kick off the final.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Jones, Doyle, Reid, Wells, Hanson
Subs: Duke, Ravenhill, Atkinson, McHugh, Connell, Hines, Nelson
Atkinson for Reid (78), Connell for Wells (85), Ravenhill for Doyle (87)
Doyle (84), Hanson (88)
NORTHAMPTON TOWN LINE UP
Nicholls, Tozer, Cameron, Carlisle, Collins, Hackett, Guttridge, Harding, Demontagnac, O'Donovan, Platt
Subs: Snedker, Johnson, Widdowson, Langmead, Akinfenwa, Robinson, Hornby
Widdowson for Collins (53), Akinfenwa for Platt (55), Hornby for Demontagnac (70)
Platt (20), O'Donovan (30), Carlisle (67)
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistant Referee: Steve Copeland
Assistant Referee: Jake Hillier
Fourth Official: Marc Perry