Bradford manager Phil Parkinson thrilled following victory over Aston Villa

League Two side won 3-1 in the first leg

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson admitted his players had far exceeded his expectations after seeing them inflict more embarrassment on top-flight opposition with a stunning 3-1 win over Aston Villa in last night's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

Parkinson's npower League Two promotion-chasers, who upset Arsenal in a memorable penalty shootout triumph in the quarter-finals, edged closer to fulfilling a Wembley dream in front of another full house at Valley Parade and will defend a two-goal advantage in the return leg at Villa Park in two weeks' time.

Nahki Wells' clinical finish, several top-class saves from man-of-the-match Matt Duke and some glaring Villa misses ensured Bradford took a slender lead into half-time.

Rory McArdle headed the West Yorkshire club into an unlikely two-goal lead in the 77th minute and although Andreas Weimann got one back in the 82nd minute, Carl McHugh restored their two-goal lead two minutes from time.

"I was asked before the game on the TV, would we take a draw? I said 'yes'," Parkinson said. "Obviously we would have taken a draw.

"We didn't set out to get a draw, we actually set out to win the game, but if we had been going there with a draw it wouldn't have been the worse scenario in the world.

"To be going there two goals ahead is great. We said to the lads before the game that if Villa are going to get to Wembley we're going to really make them earn it."

A crowd of 22,245, swelled by Villa's 4,313 travelling fans, were treated to another thrilling cup upset.

"Without doubt the support was incredible," Parkinson said. "The way they backed the lads, they got that extra 10 or 15 per cent out of the players, you could visibly see it and it's so important playing against a team a few divisions above us with some great players."

But Parkinson, whose side also sent Wigan packing in the fourth round, refused to be swept away by the occasion, adding: "It was important we got the message across to the lads at the end of the game and equally be respectful to Villa because in two weeks' time we've got to go down to Villa Park and do it all again.

"We're absolutely delighted with the way we played, obviously, because from the first minute to the last the lads were tremendous. But equally we know we're only halfway there, we've got a very difficult job in a fortnight's time."

Villa manager Paul Lambert, whose side have won only one of their last seven league matches, was disappointed with his young players' defending, but insisted the tie was far from over.

"At any level of football, you can't defend set-plays like that and expect to win games of football," Lambert said.

"But we're still in the tie, absolutely. It will be a different game at Villa Park. We had lots of chances to score and we never took them, but it's only half-time.

"It will be a totally different game at Villa Park, but when chances come our way we have to take them.

"But you've got to give Bradford credit, they defended resolutely and their goalkeeper made some good saves."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own