League Two play-off final: Bradford beat Northampton 3-0 at Wembley
Last Updated: 18/05/13 11:06pm
Bradford City beat Northampton Town 3-0 in the League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from James Hanson, Rory McArdle and Nahki Wells earned Bradford promotion to League One as the Cobblers were brushed aside in an entertaining clash in the capital.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Nahki Wells was a constant thorn for the Northampton defence and capped an impressive display with the third goal.
- Goal of the match: Northampton were guilty of poor defending on all three goals, but Wells' volleyed third from Garry Thompson's header back across goal was well taken.
- Moment of the match: The scenes of celebration at the final whistle with Bradford booking their place in League One next season.
- Save of the match: Lee Nicholls was by far the busier goalkeeper and had to be alert to push over a header from Kyel Reid in the first half.
- Talking points: How will Bradford fare in League One? Can Aidy Boothrody lift his side for another promotion push next season?
Hanson opened the scoring for Bradford with a looping header in the 15th minute after a cross came in from the right from Garry Thompson.
McArdle doubled the Bantams' advantage four minutes later with a header at the near post from Nathan Doyle, before Wells added a third goal on 28 minutes.
Wells fired in at the back post after a header across goal from Thompson, but Hanson looked to be in an offside position during the build-up to the goal.
The Bantams almost scored a fourth soon after but Kyel Reid's header was tipped over the bar by Northampton goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
Town boss Aidy Boothroyd brought on Joe Widdowson and Adebayo Akinfenwa early in the second half for Lee Collins and Clive Platt in a bid to shake the Cobblers into action, and Akinfenwa fired wide in the box soon after.
Boothroyd made a last throw of the dice on 70 minutes when he brought on Lewis Hornby for Ishmel Demontagnac, with midfielder Luke Guttridge handed some instructions on a piece of paper which he read before tucking them in his shorts.
But the Cobblers just couldn't break through Bradford's resolute defence and could not muster a single shot on target, while City made a happy return to Wembley after their 5-0 Capital One Cup final defeat to Swansea.
After the match, Bradford boss Phil Parkinson hailed the performance of his players as they brushed aside the challenge of Northampton.
He told Sky Sports: "This was our 64th game of the season, to put in a performance like we did today, enormous credit goes to the lads, they have been outstanding and if any group of supporters deserve success, it's the Bradford fans."
Downcast Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd promised the Cobblers would bounce bounce back from the misery of their limp loss.
He said: "It's not about being overawed, it's about making sure you think correctly when the pressure is on, and do the right things at the right time and I didn't recognise a lot of my lads out there for half an hour today."
|Bradford City||Team Statistics||Northampton Town|
|3||1st Half Goals||0|
|8||Shots on Target||0|
|4||Shots off Target||10|
|58.1||1st Half Poss.||41.9|
|50.2||2nd Half Poss.||49.8|
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Sky Bet League 2
|4||Newport County AFC||20||34|
|10||Dagenham & Redbridge||20||30|
Bradford v Northampton
Aidy Boothroyd has promised that Northampton will bounce back from the misery of their play-off final loss to Bradford.
Bradford boss Phil Parkinson hailed his players after they beat Northampton 3-0 at Wembley to earn promotion.
Bradford manager Phil Parkinson hailed his players after they beat Northampton 3-0 at Wembley to earn promotion to League One.