League Two - Bradford thrash Northampton in play-off final

League Two play-off final, Wembley - Bradford City 3 (Hanson 15, McArdle 19, Wells 28), Northampton Town 0.

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League Two - Bradford thrash Northampton in play-off final
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Bradford City's Alan Connell drinks from the npower Football League Two Play-Off Trophy

Bradford City won promotion with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Northampton Town at Wembley in the League Two play-off final.

James Hanson, Rory McArdle and Nakhi Wells plundered first-half goals as Phil Parkinson's men booked their place in the third tier with a devastatingly effective performance.

Northampton found themselves unable to cope with Bradford's aerial prowess, but contributed to their own downfall with some appalling defending.

It marked a joyous return to Wembley for Bradford, who were humbled 5-0 by Swansea in the Capital One Cup final in February.

But they looked stronger for the experience as they dominated a first-half every bit as one-sided as their first final of the season.

Parkinson's side dominated from the off, and it was no surprise when they took the lead through the towering Hanson.

Garry Thompson stood up a high cross from the right and Hanson headed back across goal, outjumping two statuesque defenders and nodding the ball past the flailing Lee Nicholls.

Four minutes later McArdle made it two, arriving unmarked at the near post to stoop and power in a header from Nathan Doyle's cross. Too easy.

And Wells grabbed his 25th goal of the season thanks to some more atrocious defending as Northampton allowed Thompson to meet a deep cross with a header back across goal, and Wells thundered home from close range.

Northampton's only consistent attacking weapon was the gigantic long throws of Ben Tozer.

But, though Tozer's bombs unsettled Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin, Bradford's back four helped out with some timely clearances.

Aidy Boothroyd's men stemmed the tide, but never looked like staging a comeback.

Their passing was too loose and their shooting too wayward to test McLaughlin, making the second half a disappointing non-event.

Despite finishing seventh in the table - lowest of the play-off contenders - few would deny Bradford their moment of triumph.

This was the 65th game of a momentous season for Bradford, yet they produced one of their most complete displays to write a Wembley fairytale at the second attempt.

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