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Club News


23 December 2015

Club News


23 December 2015

The Bantams entertain current league leaders Burton Albion at the Coral Windows Stadium this Saturday in a bumper Boxing Day fixture.

The match will be Burton's first visit to Valley Parade since the opening leg of the League 2 Play-Off Semi-Final between City and the Brewers in May 2013.

First half goals from Burton duo Calvin Zola (2) and Robbie Weir put the visitors in a strong position, 3-1 up going into the half time break. City's Garry Thompson pulled a goal back in the second period but the Brewers still held a 3-2 advantage after the first game.

A strong showing from Phil Parkinson's Bantams in the second leg just three days later, however, eventually saw City secure their spot in the Play-Off Final and their second trip to Wembley in around three months following their appearance in the Capital One Cup Final earlier in the season.

Incredibly, Burton's trip to the Coral Windows Stadium in the Play-Offs was their THIRD visit of the season to BD8, with all three matches proving to be crucial encounters for the Bantams.

The Brewers' first match in Bradford for the season came at the end of September when the two sides met in the Capital One Cup third round.

First half strikes from Billy Kee and Aaron Webster saw Burton race into a two-goal lead in the first period but late efforts from substitute Nahki Wells took the tie to extra time.

With just five minutes of extra time to go and the prospect of penalties looming, up stepped Stephen Darby to rifle home the winner from distance - still his one and only goal for the Bantams so far.

Following on from the dramatic Burton extra-time victory, City would, of course, go on to defeat Premier League trio Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa to sensationally book a date with Swansea City in the League Cup Final.

Fast forward nearly seven months on from their first visit, and Burton returned to the Coral Windows Stadium for a second time towards the end of the regular season.

Burton had already secured their spot in the end of season Play-Offs by this stage but City knew that victory in the game, coupled with a Exeter City loss at home to Cheltenham Town, would also see them confirm a Play-Off spot as well.

It was nervy and tense at times but a single James Hanson goal just before the interval was enough to give Parkinson's side all three points.

Once Cheltenham's 1-0 victory at Exeter was announced over the club's PA, City's plans for the Play-Offs (and ultimately another encounter with Burton) could begin.

City's goalkeeper on that sunny day back in April 2013 - Jon McLaughlin - is expected to line up against the Bantams this weekend after joining the Brewers in the summer of 2014.

Having originally signed for City under former Bantams boss Stuart McCall back in 2008, McLaughlin was the club's longest serving player up until his departure to the Pirelli Stadium.

McLaughlin, who made 138 appearances in total for City, kept goal for the vast majority of Burton's promotion-winning campaign last season.

His League 2 winners' medal goes alongside the Play-Off Final winners' medal he collected during his time at the Coral Windows Stadium.

Another former Bantam expected to feature in Burton's starting XI on Boxing Day is midfielder Tom Naylor.

Naylor, who featured mainly as a defender for City, played for the club on loan from Derby County during the famous 2012/2013 history-makers season.

Match tickets for City's bumper Boxing Day encounter with Burton Albion are still available to buy from the Bantams Ticket Office or online.

Supporters can find out more information about buying Burton tickets by ringing the ticket office on 0871 978 8000.

Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online - please click  HERE.

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