AIDY HAS FAITH IN COBBLERS
BRADFORD CITY 1 NORTHAMPTON 0
NORTHAMPTON boss Aidy Boothroyd believes his side’s promotion to League One is written in the stars despite seeing them lose an 11th away game of the season, at Bradford.
The Cobblers were sunk by Nahki Wells’ 25th-minute goal, a tap-in after a mix-up between defender Nathan Cameron and goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
It was enough to give Bradford the victory that puts them within two points of the League Two play-offs and with a game in hand on seventhplaced Exeter.
Clarke Carlisle almost scored with the first chance of the game, glancing a header just wide from Ben Tozer’s launched throw in.
The Bantams had the better of the first half but Northampton grew into the contest after Wells’ opener, James Hanson fluffed a chance to make it two with the goal gaping.
Home keeper Jon McLaughlin made an excellent save to keep out a Ben Harding volley 20 minutes from time but Bradford held out for the win.
Results elsewhere mean Boothroyd’s men remain in the automatic promotion places, and the manager feels such things could be indicators of the team’s destiny.
“I genuinely think it’s meant to be for us to go up,” he said.“I’ve spoken a lot about us playing well and not getting what we’ve deserved but I do genuinely think we’ve improved in the past two games.
“We’ve turned a real corner in terms of our application and attitude. I don’t think we’re being helped by the officials but it’s our choice whether we get ourselves booked or not.”
Boothroyd, who was born in Bradford and supported the Bantams as a boy, wants his team to learn from the home side’s ‘match management’ and backed Cameron and Nicholls, who collided when going for the same ball to present Wells with a simple goal, to improve as a result of their error.
“Bradford are a good side, I’ve said that all along,” said Boothroyd. “And this is a tough place to come.
“Both goalkeepers kept their teams in it and it was a horrific mistake that cost us but it was one made by two very good young players who will both go on to have very good careers.
“It’s a bit of a lesson for us and we perhaps need to learn from their match management as well.”
The win puts Bradford firmly in the top-seven hunt and they may yet meet Northampton, against whom they have now completed a league double, in the play-offs.
Wells scored the winner at Sixfields in November and registered a hattrick there last season, a fact City boss Phil Parkinson felt was central to the visitors’ game plan.
“Nahki has always done well against them,” he said.“They set up with him in mind by playing the three central defenders and when a team does that the first goal is always so important. “We should have killed the game off but I’m really pleased with how we played and the result we have got against a very tough side.”
ARMFUL: Nahki Wells celebrates his goal