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Boss hails City's resilience

14 November 2012

City boss Phil Parkinson was as proud as punch of his players' efforts after seeing his side dramatically book their place in the second round of the F.A Cup this Tuesday following a topsy-turvy replay against Northampton Town.

After a 2-1 advantage was snatched away from them in the final minute of injury time, City found themselves on the verge of crashing out the competition in the dying stages of extra time until young defender Carl McHugh popped up to take the tie to penalties with his first goal for the club.

In the shoot-out, despite Northampton 'keeper Shane Higgs' save from Nahki Wells' penalty first up, the Bantams still overcame that blow to eventually win 4-2 on penalties thanks to Ricky Ravenhill's winning spot-kick, sealing an incredible EIGHTH straight penalty victory for the club.

The shoot-out success now means City will face a home tie with League 1 Brentford in the next round and guarantees that Parkinson's squad will still be in all three domestic competitions going into the month of December.

City's comeback in Tuesday's tie was all the more remarkable given the fact that Parkinson's men had been playing the final fifteen minutes of extra time a man down following James Meredith's withdrawal through injury after the Bantams had made all three subs.

Given the multi knocks and set-backs City had to endure before finally booking their spot in the second round, Parkinson had nothing but praise for his side post-match.

Parkinson said: "I can't fault the resilience of the lads - we were absolutely outstanding in that respect."

"We should have won the game in ninety minutes - I thought some of our football in the first half especially was brilliant.

"We should have had a penalty in that half when Bakes (Adam Baker) was clearly pulled back when through on goal. It would have most probably been a red card for their lad as well.

"None of that happened though, and we found ourselves losing in extra time and down to ten men.

"I always felt though, even going down a man, that there would be a chance for us.

"Stephen Darby's throw one in and Carl has shown great desire to get his head on it twice to make sure he won the throw-in and then scored the goal.

"The mood is buoyant in the dressing room because the lads feel that they are getting rewarded for the great efforts that they are putting in.

"If you go back to the Wigan game, we've shown that sort of spirit again here tonight, albeit in slightly different circumstances.

"We've had a number of psychological blows throughout this game. Going down to ten men at the end of the game didn't help, but what a response from the lads."

"I don't know the record or the stat, but there can't be a team in the bottom three divisions (Football League) that has played as many match minutes as we have this season.

"It's great to be in these cup competitions though. We'll relish the next round - Brentford at home - and we all know that the prize after that is a place in that special third round draw when the big teams come in."

Of City's eight shoot-out successes, sixth of them have come in the past fourteen months or so that Parkinson has been at the helm at the Coral Windows Stadium.

The Bantams boss added: "It's an amazing achievement."

"I think you could sense everyone in the stadium felt confident.

"We clearly have experience now of being in those situations before, and that has got to help.

"Nahki's miss obviously didn't give us the best of starts, but the rest of the lads were superb."

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