Burton Albion will not be heading to Wembley after Bradford City overturned a first-leg deficit with a 3-1 win to record their first ever victory at the Pirelli Stadium.
The League Two second leg play-offs saw Burton Albion with a home advantage after their 3-2 away victory at Thursday’s game at Valley Parade and were hoping to continue their run of success. But the Bantams – who lost to Swansea in the Capital One Cup Final in February – made their cup experience count.
The Brewers started confidently with Jacques Maghoma creating an opening 24 seconds into the match, but his left-foot shot flashed wide.
Shortly after, Alex MacDonald’s throw into the penalty box was seized on by Andrew Davies, but he could only fire into the side netting.
Moments later on 27 minutes the Bantams capitalised from their first chance of the game.
Albion centre-half Marcus Holness tried to head the ball back to keeper Stuart Tomlinson but only helped it into the path of Wells who made the most of the gift to make it 1-0.
Holness almost conceded a penalty after fouling Wells as referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot, but the offside flag had already been raised.
The second half offered spectacular entertainment during the opening minutes which saw both teams battling for control of the tie. Bradford made it 2-0 (4-3 on aggregate) after Hanson scored with a crisp right-foot volley.
But within five minutes the hosts levelled the tie from the spot when Thompson fouled Maghoma just inside the box. The Congolese striker picked himself up and rammed home the equaliser.
Unfortunately for the Brewers, they were only on level terms for two minutes after Wells scored his 25th goal of the season and his fifth against Burton Albion during this tie.
The hosts continued to apply pressure creating some late chances, but despite six minutes of added time, the Brewers could not force the match into extra time.
Bradford City won the tie 3-1 (5-4 agg) and will head to Wembley for the second time this season for the final on May 18th where they face Northampton who beat Cheltenham 2-0 on aggregate in the other tie.
Burton Albion manager Gary Rowett admitted he was disappointed by the defeat, but always knew it was a difficult challenge:
“I am really proud of the team and they can stick their chests out. It’s a difficult moment as the players are obviously hurting and they are disappointed.”