Water hero! Groundsman plays a blinder as Bantams book their place in last 16 of cup (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Water hero! Groundsman plays a blinder as Bantams book their place in last 16 of Capital One Cup
Groundsman Mick Doyle was held up as the unlikely hero behind City’s first League Cup fourth-round appearance for 24 years.
An extra-time blast from right back Stephen Darby sealed an incredible 3-2 fightback win over Burton at the Coral Windows Stadium. Sub Nahki Wells had struck twice in the final eight minutes as the Bantams roared back from two down.
But Phil Parkinson reserved special praise for Doyle and his staff who had made the Valley Parade pitch playable despite horrendous weather conditions.
The game was never in doubt after two days of solid rain and Parkinson said: “Mick Doyle was definitely my man of the match. He gets ten out of ten from me.
“Sometimes you have unsung heroes in football clubs and the effort Mick and his team put in to get it on was outstanding.
“I don’t think anybody thought it would be but the surface was fantastic. Once the teams are here, nobody wants to see it called off so it was fantastic.
“To pass the ball and play at a good tempo, which is what we want to do, you need a good surface and we certainly have that.”
City will be the lowest-ranked side in tonight’s draw for the last 16 after another never-say-die victory. Having seen off Notts County in extra-time and toppled Watford with a last-gasp winner, Park-inson was amazed by their latest show of resilience.
He added: “At half-time I felt the 2-0 scoreline was unjust because we dominated up to their first goal. But we just told the lads to keep going.
“The performance level they put in was exceptional and some of the football great to watch. We always felt we’d create chances and probably could have scored more.
“Kicking towards that (Kop) goal, the crowd really sucked the ball into the net. There was only 4,000 in the ground but there was a good atmosphere.
“We made changes and the lads who came in did really well. Equally the subs had a massive impact on the game.
“You need a strong bench and we certainly had that.
“And I’m so pleased for Stephen Darby. In years to come, people will remember that goal for putting the club through this far in the competition.”
As the sole League Two survivor, Parkinson is now keeping his fingers crossed that City pull out a mouth-watering draw against Premier League opposition in the next round.
He said: “The players, supporters and the chairmen in particular deserve a big draw. We’ve worked really hard to get to this stage.
“There’s now the chance to get that lucrative tie and I hope that is the case for everybody in the club.”