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Rory McArdle helps Bradford City to memorable win

Bradford City goalscorers Carl McHugh (left) and Rory McArdle celebrate at the final whistle

Bradford City goalscorers Carl McHugh (left) and Rory McArdle celebrate at the final whistle

Northern Ireland international, Rory McArdle, scored the second of Bradford City’s goals in the memorable 3-1 win at the Carols Windows Stadium, Bradford, against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old and the League Championship Two side are now one step away from a Captital One Cup final showdown with Chelsea or Swansea after the semi-final first leg victory over the English Premiership side.

Bradford forward Nahki Wells conceded his side are now favourites to reach the final, but would prefer it if they remained as the underdogs.

Wells scored the first goal as City went on to produce another memorable cup result - the League Two side beat Arsenal in the quarter-finals - and will head to Villa Park for the second leg in the box seat.

Bermudan Wells knows they will now be expected to finish the job and hopes they can do just that.

“We may well be the favourites now, but we want to be the underdogs,” he said.

“To get this far is great but we now want to make sure we get through.

“We showed our quality and that we can compete with Premier League teams. We were resilient, it was a tough match and we showed what we are capable of. To have a two-goal cushion is great.

“We would have taken a draw but 2-1, 3-1 is amazing. It’s a good deficit to take with us to the away tie.”

Northern Ireland international McArdle made it two after Wells’ opener, but Villa looked to have made a game of it when Andreas Weimann made it 2-1.

Carl McHugh had other ideas, though, with his late header putting Bradford into dreamland.

“It shows the team spirit we have,” said goalkeeper Matt Duke.

“We’ve all put a shift in, credit to the boys in front of me, we caused them problems, scored three goals and we can go to Villa Park with a lead.

“We are playing a class team and we need to be on our game.

“It’s a cliche but it’s half a job and we have a bigger task ahead.”

Manager Phil Parkinson had said beforehand he would have taken a draw, but was left knowing that his side are on the brink of what would be a quite sensational final appearance.

“To score three against a Premier League team is an outstanding achievement,” he said.

Villa manager Paul Lambert was left to lament his side’s failure to deal with balls into their box.

“We are really disappointed we have lost the game. We’re in one now, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We knew the set-pieces were coming, we have not defended them well at all. It’s hurt us and wasn’t good enough.

“We have another chance to retrieve this.”

 

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