Tue, 22 Jan 2013 22:44:00 – Bradford goalkeeper Matt Duke says he has fulfilled a childhood dream after the League Two club booked their spot in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
The Bantams stretched their stunning cup run with another giant-killing in the semi-final against Aston Villa, beating the Premier League side 4-3 on aggregate.
Duke contributed a solid display between the sticks in the second leg at Villa Park on Tuesday night and admits he is on cloud nine after advancing to the final, where they will face the winner of the other semi-final tie between Chelsea and Swansea.
He told Sky Sports: "It's a dream. As a kid, playing football, you dream of Wembley.
"We're going to do it, we're going to take a League Two club to Wembley. We have a massive following and it's just going to be an amazing day. I'm so looking forward to it.
"I'm just speechless. The lads were fantastic again tonight.
"For the fans, it's going to be a great day at Wembley for us."
Bradford went behind to Christian Benteke's opener as Villa sliced their 3-1 lead from the first leg but James Hanson nodded home from a Gary Jones corner to put the visitors back in control.
Villa threatened a comeback late on when substitute Andreas Weimann scored but it was too little too late as Phil Parkinson's men held on for the aggregate win.
Duke says there was a sense that they could complete the upset in the dressing room before the game, adding: "You could smell it in the dressing room before that we had a chance.
"You're 3-1 up and you think, if we score, we fancy our chances.
"We fancied ourselves at set-pieces and (after) Hanson's great header you think, at that point, we're going to do it."
Asked if Bradford can go all the way and lift the trophy, the keeper said: "Let's dream. It's going to be difficult, whether we get Chelsea or Swansea.
"As long as we do what we've done, we've got a chance."
The Bees, who face another capital clash with Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday, came from behind courtesy of goals from Paul Hayes and Clayton Donaldson before Lee Cook's dramatic late leveller.
Former Bee Martin Rowlands gave the visitors the lead after just eight minutes with a 30-yard free kick that left home keeper Simon Moore with no chance.
But Hayes levelled with 19 minutes gone, volleying home from close range after Orient failed to deal with a Sam Saunders corner.
Donaldson then put the hosts ahead just before the break with a carbon copy goal, this time bundling home after Hayes beat O's stopper Jamie Jones to a loose ball.
But the game turned just before the hour mark when on-loan Everton left-back Jake Bidwell saw red for an innocuous looking challenge on Lee Cook.
Referee Paul Tierney incensed the home crowd soon after when he awarded a penalty after Lee Hodson and Charlie MacDonald went head to head for a loose ball. But David Mooney's low spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Simon Moore.
And Cook earned his side a point with four minutes to go when he lashed home a dipping left footed drive into the far corner from the edge of the box.
With snow falling throughout, Daniel Lopez swept in from close range in the second minute but Chris Hackett's penalty and Carlisle's header were enough to see the Cobblers move into the automatic promotion places.
There were only 78 seconds on the clock when Lopez tucked home from six yards, after Adam Mekki took the ball wide of Cobblers keeper Lee Nicholls and picked out his team-mate.
But with 21 minutes gone referee Darren Deadman pointed to the spot after Michael Hector handled in the box and Hackett dispatched his spot-kick into the top-right corner.
Hackett then turned provider with ten minutes remaining in the first half, whipping in a corner which Carlisle headed home.
Northampton could have sealed the points with 15 minutes to go after Hackett rounded Jamie Young but his goalbound shot was stopped by Troy Brown.
Jake Robinson's effort was then cleared off the line by Shots substitute Anthony McNamee as Dean Holdsworth's side failed to find a late equaliser.
Defeat leaves Pools still eight points adrift at the foot of the table, with the Cherries sneaking into the last play-off spot as a result of their comprehensive display.
After Grabban fired over after a short-corner routine and Tommy Elphick headed over after eight minutes, Cherries' keeper Shwan Jalal denied Pools' attacker Jon Franks when he was played in on goal.
And they took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Josh McQuoid headed in firmly from close range when he met an inviting Simon Francis cross.
Ritchie Humphreys wasted a free header to level before Pools did equalise six minutes after the break. Evan Horwood's curling free-kick deceived Jalal, hit the bar and bounced down for Jack Baldwin to turn in his first career goal from close range.
In the 63rd minute the Cherries won it when Sam Collins tripped Eunan O'Kane in the area and Grabban converted to sentance Hartlepool to a seventh successive home defeat.