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?
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat