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BRADFORD CITY 3 NORTHAMPTON TOWN 3
(City won 4-2 on pens, aet)
Never-say-die City came through yet another penalty shoot-out to clinch a dramatic win over Northampton.
Ricky Ravenhill smashed the decisive spot-kick after Jon McLaughlin had saved from Danny East and Kelvin Langmead fired over the bar.
Langmead’s curler after 109 minutes looked to have settled the FA Cup first-round replay after the home side had been reduced to ten men by injury.
With all three subs on the pitch, James Meredith joined Zavon Hines as a casualty – more worries for Phil Parkinson during this non-stop schedule.
But up popped Carl McHugh to nod his first senior goal with the final touch of the game.
City had made six changes from the weekend as Parkinson looked to freshen up his resources.
Northampton had been hit by illness like City and left top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa on the bench feeling the symptoms.
But the away side made the brighter start with Ishmel Demontagnac poking wide and Clive Platt sending a free header over the bar.
City’s defence was having a difficult time and Jon McLaughlin, back in goal, baled out Rory McArdle by saving at the feet of Demontagnac after the centre half had trodden on the ball.
Alan Connell, in for Nahki Wells, was a lively presence up front for the home side. But City suffered a blow when Zavon Hines went off injured after 29 minutes.
Northampton were made to pay for missing those early chances when City took the lead six minutes later. James Hanson showed good control to set up Will Atkinson, who blasted home from eight yards.
City thought they should have had a penalty when sub Adam Baker was wrestled off the ball by Joe Widdowson.
But instead the visitors were level before the break through a spot-kick of their own, Demontagnac firing into the roof of the net after Ricky Ravenhill was adjudged to have brought him down in the box.
Emyr Huws twice shot off course for Northampton after the break while Connell had an effort blocked after neat build-up play with Atkinson.
Baker’s header was blocked on the line by Widdowson but then a shot from the youngster was handled by the Northampton defender, setting up sub Nahki Wells to dispatch the penalty.
Still it was not over as the Cobblers bounced straight back for Platt to equalise in added time.
And with Meredith then going off, City were undone again in the second period.
But there was a further twist to come as McHugh headed home in the added minute at the end to set the stage for another penalty success.
Ricky Ravenhill tucks his penalty into the top corner and City have won yet another penalty shoot-out 4-2. Unbelievable
McLaughlin saves penalty from East then Langmead puts one horribly over bar. Advantage City
Wells first pen of the shoot-out is saved by Higgs. Looked a tired spot-kick
Northampton win the toss for penalties and not surprisingly choose to take them at the empty TL Dallas end.
Who would have thought it???! All seemed lost for City and then up popped CARL McHUGH with a looping header in the one minute of stoppage time at the end of extra-time and it's 3-3. Penalties again...
Depleted City fall 3-2 behind after 109 minutes as Northampton skipper Kelvin Langmead curls home goal from 15 yards.
City playing with ten men after Meredith gone off. Hanson dropped back to play central defence. Injuries biting again
Half-time of extra-time and still 2-2
City think they are back in front for a third time as Jones free-kick bundled home via McArdle and possibly Wells. But the flag is up for offside
McLaughlin makes good save from Platt, then Ravenhill tees up Hanson who thumps shot against advertising board.
All happens in the closing minutes. City regain the lead with a Nahki Wells penalty after Baker's shot is handled by Widdowson.,
But Northampton hit back in the second minute of stoppage time through Clive Platt. So it's extra-time once again
Baker close to his first senior City goal with header which Widdowson blocks in front of the goalline
And here comes Akinfenwa for Northampton with ten minutes to go. Demontagnac, who's been a thorn in City's side, makes way.
Nahki Wells comes on for Alan Connell with 17 minutes to go. Connell's played well and deserves the standing ovation as he is replaced.
Scare for City there as Demontagnac goes to ground under stretching challenge from Ravenhill. Ref looked like he put whistle to his lips but decided against giving anything.
Gary Jones comes on now for Brown with 26 minutes left
Nice interchange between Atkinson and Connell in the Northampton box. Connell gets off well-hit shot but Langmead is in the way to block
Crowd is only 2,951 with 111 from Northampton. There were probably more in the queue for Arsenal tickets in last two days
#ControversialTweet: I thought it was a penalty. #bcafc— @joecockburn 13 November 2012
#bcafc playing well here. Unlucky to be level, didn't look a pen to me.— @cuedosduncan 13 November 2012
All square at half-time. Northampton had most of the early period but City came on stronger as half went on.
Strong shout for penalty for pull on Adam Baker ignored but then Northampton get a soft-looking one at the other end.
It's 1-1 after 43 minutes as DEMONTAGNAC levels from the penalty spot for Northampton. Spot-kick given for Ravenhill's foul on the winger
nice to see @willako16 proving the gaffer right!! #bcafc— @ChrisWRTompkins 13 November 2012
woo wooo will atkinson!!!!#bcafc— @Danniella_May_ 13 November 2012
City take the lead after 35 minutes. Hanson's pass is finished first time by WILL ATKINSON, who also scored in the first game at Northampton.
Visitors made to pay for not taking their earlier chances.
City coming into it more now after Northampton had the best of the early period. But Cobblers should have scored when Platt put free header over the bar from Wilson cross.
I paid less to see Liverpool v Man City earlier in the season than its cost me to watch City v Arsenal...I still can't wait though!! #bcafc— @Beerbantam 13 November 2012
Northampton have the early chances, the best falling to Demontagnac after McArdle failed to cut out a through ball.
City just had their first opportunity, Hanson doing well to meet Hines' cross with an overhead kick that flew into the deserted TL Dallas Stand.
Northampton have been hit by illness like City.
Several not travelled because of it, including best midfielder Chris Hackett. Means midfield is very inexperienced.
Adebayo Akinfenwa travelled up separately because he's been suffering with the symptoms. He's on the bench but would be surprised if he comes on for much.
Arrived after 2hrs 55mins travelling. Worth it for a big cup game though.....it is Arsenal this week isn't it? Seems quiet.... #bcafc— @JamesStables7 13 November 2012
Pleased that @daRealAkinfenwa isn't starting tonight #benchmode #bcafc— @jgbillingsley 13 November 2012
Northampton have left Adebayo Akinfenwa on the bench despite his hat-trick at Accrington on Saturday.
Former City loan striker Louis Moult, who scored their equaliser in the first game, also misses out through suspension.
Aidy Boothroyd has named only five subs.
NORTHAMPTON: Higgs, East, Langmead, Tozer, Widdowson, Hornby, Wilson, Huws, Demontagnac, Mukendi, Platt. Subs: Charles, Harding, Akinfenwa, Toney, Snedker.
@ParkerTandA amazing that we can make 6 changes and still put such a solid side out!— @TomMKay 13 November 2012
City have made six changes for tonight - their first FA Cup replay since 2006.
Scott Brown, who made such a polished debut in the 1-1 draw at Northampton, returns to partner Ricky Ravenhill at centre midfield.
Jon McLaughlin has shaken off his illness to replace Matt Duke in goal after four games on the sidelines.
Carl McHugh comes in for John Egan, who has not been allowed to play by Sunderland. Craig Forsyth is also barred from featuring by Watford so Zavon Hines takes over on the left wing.
And up front there is a start for Alan Connell, who had an outstanding game at Sixfields. Nahki Wells, Northampton's nemesis in recent times, drops to the bench.
The subs include youngsters Louie Swain and Forrayah Bass. But there is no Ritchie Jones after he failed to recover in time from his injured back.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Meredith, Atkinson, Ravenhill, Brown, Hines, Connell, Hanson. Subs: G Jones, Baker, Wells, Doyle, Bass, Swain, Duke.