BURTON Albion took a step towards Wembley last night as they beat Bradford City 3-2 in a pulsating play-off semi-final first leg at Valley Parade.
It was a terrific performance from the brave Brewers, who were written off before kick-off by the bookies and most pundits.
And it could have been even better for them as they led 2-0 and then 3-1 on a thrilling night in Yorkshire.
Calvin Zola smashed two in six first-half minutes to stun the home crowd before Nahki Wells scored from the spot after a Damien McCrory handball.
With half-time looming, Robbie Weir swept home Alex MacDonald’s cross to send the 600-odd Albion fans into raptures.
In a nip and tuck second half, Garry Thompson netted a second for the Bantams with quarter of an hour left to set up a storming end to the encounter.
But Gary Rowett’s men stood firm against an aerial barrage to take their slender advantage into Sunday’s second leg.
They set about Bradford in a confident manner and their 4-1-4-1 formation proved to be anything but negative.
Zander Diamond, in a defensive midfield role, was outstanding, while Zola was clinical in front of goal.
But everyone chipped in from front to back – and a repeat showing on Sunday will surely put Albion in the final and on the verge of League One.
See tomorrow’s Burton Mail for a full report