Bradford triumph to earn Wembley return in play-off final

The Bantams see off Burton Albion despite first-leg defeat to reach their second Wembley final this season

Bradford will return to Wembley later this month after overturning a first-leg deficit to beat Burton in the npower League Two play-off semi-finals.

The Capital One Cup finalists, 3-2 down from Thursday's game at Valley Parade, recorded their first ever win at the Pirelli Stadium courtesy of Nahki Wells' double either side of James Hanson's goal.

Jacques Maghoma levelled up the tie from the penalty spot but Burton could not get themselves back on terms again after Wells had struck his 25th goal of the season - and his fifth against Albion this campaign.

Burton started brightly and Maghoma created an opening for himself after just 24 seconds.

The former Tottenham trainee showed good feet to turn on the edge of the box but his left-foot shot went wide.

Shortly afterwards Alex MacDonald's long throw into the penalty area found Calvin Zola who rolled Andrew Davies and got a shot away, but the two-goal hero from Valley Parade fired into the side-netting.

MacDonald then saw his far-post header from Damien McCrory's left-wing cross blocked just in front of the line by a wall of Bradford defenders.

It was from another Burton attack that the visitors opened the scoring after 27 minutes.

Jon McLaughlin made a routine save from McCrory's free-kick and quickly distributed the ball to James Meredith, who knocked it long.

Albion centre-half Marcus Holness tried to head back to his goalkeeper but did not get enough on it and Wells nipped in to poke past the onrushing Stuart Tomlinson from inside the box.

Wells thought he had won a penalty shortly afterwards when he was flattened by Holness. Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot but to Burton's relief the offside flag had already been raised and after consulting with his assistant Scott changed his decision.

The opening dozen minutes of the second half saw the tie swing one way and then the next.

Hanson put Bradford ahead on aggregate for the first time after 50 minutes.

Wells' persistence enabled him to poke the ball into the path of Hanson and the big striker drilled a right-foot shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net from 20 yards out.

However, five minutes later the hosts levelled up the tie.

Maghoma turned Garry Thompson out on the left touchline and powered towards the penalty area with the Bantams midfielder in tow.

Thompson made a last-ditch challenge which referee Scott adjudged to be inside the box and Maghoma got up to score from the spot.

But Burton were level for only two minutes.

McLaughlin's long punt forward was headed down by Hanson and Wells spun his marker to flick a left-foot shot past Tomlinson from six yards out.

Immediately at the other end, McLaughlin preserved Bradford's advantage with a save to deny Robbie Weir.

And the Bantams keeper kept his side ahead again nine minutes from time, blocking substitute Billy Kee's point-blank header with his chest.

Hanson could have settled it late on but fired way over the crossbar.

Bradford had to survive some late Burton pressure but they did and they will return to Wembley for the final on May 18 where they will play either Cheltenham or Northampton, who play the second leg of their semi-final this evening.

PA

Life and Style
Social media users in Mexico who commented on cartel violence have been killed in the past
techTweets not showing up or loading this morning, users say
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker