Live Commentary: Burton Albion 1-3 Bradford City - as it happened

Burton Albion's Calvin Zola celebrates scoring his second goal against Bradford City on May 2, 2013
© Dave Thompson / PA Photos
Find out how Bradford City overcome Burton Albion with Sports Mole's live updates.

Burton Albion and Bradford City met this afternoon for the right to advance through to the final of the League Two playoffs.

Hosting Burton were leading 3-2 from the first leg, but they found themselves 2-0 down on the day thanks to strikes from Nakhi Wells and James Hanson.

Jacques Maghoma then brought Burton level on aggregate, but Wells sealed Bradford's spot at Wembley shortly after.

You can find out how the match unfolded with Sports Mole's live updates below.


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11.09amMorning all. So, after a long hard season, it's boiled down to the playoffs. It's advantage Burton Albion in this one, but as we've seen so often, Bradford City know what's needed when it comes to knockout football. It should make for an interesting encounter.

11.13amAs mentioned in the introduction, it's advantage Burton today. They lead 3-2 from the opening leg - which was an entertaining fixture. Something similar today would do us all nicely. This is the playoffs as well so you cannot rule anything out!

11.17amThe winner of this tie will play either Northampton Town or Cheltenham Town in the final. Those two meet later today, with Northampton leading 1-0 from the first leg. The form book says that both Northampton and Burton will progress, but you never know at this stage of the campaign.

11.22amRight, that's enough pre-match chat for now because the team news from the Pirelli Stadium has just been released. Let's start with the away side...

11.25amBRADFORD XI: McLaughlin; Darby, Meredith, Davies, McArdle; Doyle, Reid, Thompson, Jones; Wells, Hanson

11.28amThat is pretty much what you would expect from Bradford. Jim Hanson has been given a role up front - he showed during their League Cup run that he is capable of scoring a big goal or two and boy do they need something like that today. Winger Kyle Reid and Gary Thompson are also included in a four-man midfield.

11.32pmAnd here is how the home side will start the fixture...

11.34amBURTON XI: Tomlinson; Diamond, O'Connor, Holness, Sharps; McGrath, Weir, McCrory, Maghoma; Zola, MacDonald

11.40amSo, Burton are unchanged from the first leg, which means that two-goal hero Calvin Zola is included in the starting lineup. Elsewhere, Zander Diamond will start at the back, while Damien McCrory will also feature.

11.44amThe form book this season would have you believe that there is only one winner today. No team in League Two picked up more points this season at home than Burton, who collected 54 in total. In fact, they only lost three times in front of their own supporters, while they won on 17 occasions.

11.48amMeanwhile, Bradford have not been great on their travels. The Bantams have won just six from a possible 23. Scoring goals away from home has also been a struggle for Phil Parkinson's side. They've only found the net 29 times - hardly prolific.

11.53amI have to say, there's a really good atmosphere inside the Pirelli Stadium. The home fans have turned out in force - they know how big this game is for their club. Likewise Bradford, who have brought a strong following with them to Staffordshire.

11.57amRight, here come the players. It's a sunny day in Burton - perfect conditions for football. Let's hope that the match lives up to the weather. Not long now until we are off and running.

1 minGAME ON! Here we go then - this League two playoff semi-final is off and running. It's advantage Burton, but anything can happen as we know.

5 minIt's been a frantic start at the Pirelli Stadium, with both sides looking keen to grab an early goal. Calvin Zola has just had half a chance for the home side, but he fired over from a good position. After his performance during the first leg, you'd have backed him to score there.

10 minCHANCE! First sight of goal for Bradford as Kyle Reid takes control of the ball on the edge of the penalty area. His next touch is a shot, but the ball flies well over the crossbar. Nevertheless, that's positive from the visitors, who know that they need to win this game.

15 minIt's turned into a bit of a midfield battle now. Both goalkeepers are merely spectators at the moment. That will suit Burton because although they would like to win the game, they don't need to.

20 minIf truth be told, both sets of players look a little too concerned about making an error. As a result, the two teams are playing a lot of long ball football which at the moment is being easily dealt with by the respective defences.

25 minGOAL! Burton 0-1 Bradford (Wells)

27 minBurton may have been on top so far, but it's Bradford that have drawn themselves level in the tie. Marcus Holness's back header is weak and Nahki Wells capitalises to poke the ball into the net from eight yards out. That's a really smart finish from the in form striker. Game on now!

32 minSince the goal it has been all Bradford. They're applying a large amount of pressure and if truth be told, Burton look a little rattled. The home side need to regroup because the communication between the defenders in particular is lacking. They could well pay for that soon.

37 minSAVE! That's a bit better from Burton as Zola nods down a long punt forward into the path of Robbie Weir. The midfielder then weighs up his options before sending a swerving effort goalwards. Unfortunately for him and the home team McLaughlin gets both hands behind it to clear the danger.

42 minThe quality may be lacking at the moment, but the desire and determination of the players cannot be faulted. In the space of 30 seconds, there has been three 50/50 challenges that have been contested with honest tackles. It's good to see because some of their Premier League counterparts would probably have been rolling around on the floor!

45 minThere will be one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Burton 0-1 Bradford

12.52pmWell that was by no means a pretty half of football but Bradford won't care one jot - they are level after all. Since the goal they have also looked the better side. It's a big team talk for Burton manager Rowett, who needs to lift his side for the second half.

12.56pmThe statistics will show you that Burton have actually had 12 shots to Bradford's four. However, they haven't really forced McLaughlin into a top save - it's all been pretty easy for the young Scot.

1pmOf course, as it stands, this match is heading into extra-time because away goals don't count during 90 minutes in the playoffs. There's certainly more games in this match though - I can't see it ending 1-0.

45 minRight, the players are back with us and Bradford get the second half started. What a big 45 minutes this is for both clubs.

49 minGOAL! Burton 0-2 Bradford (Hanson)

52 minWhat a stunning strike that is from big Jim Hanson! Wells does well initially to create the chance, but then it is all about the Bradford striker. The ball bounces to him 20 yards from goal and he decides to drill in a shot which nestles into the bottom corner of the net. That really is a very good goal and as it stands, Bradford are off to Wembley again.

53 minPENALTY TO BURTON!

54 minThat is so silly from Thompson, who brings down Maghoma just inside the area. It's a clear penalty and Maghoma will take it...

55 minGOAL! Burton 1-2 Bradford (Maghoma)

56 minWe are level once again! It's a good penalty from Maghoma, who sends the penalty high into the net despite McLaughlin's best efforts. The home crowd have also woken up! Meanwhile, there has been a chance as Billy Kee comes on for Holness.

57 minGOAL! Burton 1-3 Bradford (Wells)

59 minDon't you just love football? This is madness! Bradford are now 5-4 up in the tie as Wells scores his second of the match. Hanson is the creator, having nodded the ball down for his strike partner inside the area. Wells then swivels, before sending his shot into the ground and then bouncing into the net. Burton weren't level for long!

63 minCHANCE! It's poor goalkeeping from McLaughlin, who punches clear only as far as Weir. The Bradford keeper is stranded as Weir shoots from the edge of the box, but the ball skids just wide of the target. That's a big escape for McLaughlin.

68 minSince Bradford scored again, it's been all Burton. They look a threat all of a sudden. Why could they not have started the game like this? One goal for them will force extra-time, while they need two to reach the final.

73 minSUBSTITUTIONS: First changes for both teams as Bradford take off Reid and bring on Atkinson, while the injured Zola comes off for Burton and on in his place is Michael Symes. That's a big loss for the home team because Zola had been a real threat in the air throughout this match.

78 minPENALTY APPEAL! A big shout from Atkinson and the Bradford fans as the substitutes' shot is blocked by O'Connor. They want a penalty for handball and replays show that they have a case. The referee is having none of it though and the game continues.

82 minSAVE! Any goalkeeper will tell you that it doesn't matter what you stop the ball with as long as it doesn't go in the net. It looks for all the world that Kee is going to head in for Burton, but somehow McLaughlin saves it with his chest! That's a brave save from the Bradford keeper.

86 minCHANCE! Oh dear Mr Hanson, who has just spurned a chance to seal Braford's spot in the final. The ball falls to him eight yards from goal, but having drawn out Stuart Tomlinson from his line, the striker lifts the ball well over the target. He should have done much better there.

90 minI'm not sure where they have come from, but there will be six minutes of stoppage time. That's plenty for Burton to force extra-time.

90+4 minAs far as Burton are concerned, the ball is in the wrong half of the pitch. Bradford have the ball in the corner flag and are in command at the moment.

90+6 minFULL TIME: Burton 1-3 Burton - Bradford win 5-4 on aggregate

1.56pmSo, Bradford are going to Wembley again and they deserve it. They were the better side and now await the winner of Northampton vs. Cheltenham in the final. It's hard on Burton because particularly in the first leg they did a decent job.

1.57pmThat's all we have time for from Burton. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and until next time, goodbye.

Burton Albion's Calvin Zola celebrates scoring his second goal against Bradford City on May 2, 2013
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