IF recent history is anything to go by, Bradford City and Nahki Wells could well be celebrating later today.
The Bantams have faced Northampton Town four times this season and are yet to finish on the losing side.
A league double – with Wells scoring the winner in both games – and a place in the FA Cup second round are what City have to show for their meetings with the Cobblers in 2012-13.
It is an impressive return, albeit one that only tells a fraction of the story with the Cup triumph, in particular, coming only after Northampton had seemed to have the tie in the bag.
After drawing 1-1 in the original tie at Sixfields, the two teams met again ten days later on November and the 2,951 fans who braved a freezing night were treated to a Cup classic.
Northampton started brighter than their hosts but wasted a host of chances, Ishmel Demontagnac proving the most culpable party with two dreadful misses.
Will Atkinson, who had netted the Yorkshire side’s goal at Sixfields, then made the visitors pay by putting City ahead only for Demontagnac to equalise from the spot just before the break.
The second half was an even affair but it was Wells who looked to have put Bradford through to the second round when he struck from the penalty spot with just 32 seconds remaining. However, in the third and final minute of stoppage time, a slip by James Meredith allowed Clive Platt to equalise and send the tie into extra-time.
The drama continued as Kelvin Langmead put Town ahead for the first time in the tie on 109 minutes. That appeared to be that until Bradford – who by then had been reduced to 10 men due to injury – grabbed a stoppage-time leveller through a looping header by Carl McHugh.
That sent the tie to penalties and with Bradford having prevailed in their previous seven shoot-outs, confidence was high among the home fans that Phil Parkinson’s side would emerge on top.
Such belief would prove well placed, though only after Wells had missed the first spot-kick of the night – much to the delight of the hardy band of 111 travelling fans.
Subsequent misses by Hull City loanee Danny East and Langmead then turned the tide back towards Bradford and Ricky Ravenhill did the rest with the final penalty.