Aidy Boothroyd admitted Northampton failed to turn up after his hometown club inflicted a crushing 3-0 defeat on the Cobblers.

The Eccleshill-born boss and boyhood Bantams fan could only watch in horror as Phil Parkinson’s men romped to an emphatic League Two play-off final victory at Wembley.

First-half goals from James Hanson, Rory McArdle and Nahki Wells blew Northampton away and left City toasting their first promotion since 1999.

A bitterly disappointed Boothroyd said: “For thirty minutes we never performed.

“I thought Bradford’s Capital One Cup final defeat against Swansea might have worked against them.

“But it has certainly worked for them. They dealt with the whole day – and more importantly, the game – better than we did.

“That’s the disappointing thing for me. It was such a poor end to a really good season.”

Boothroyd, who guided Watford to top-flight promotion with a play-off final victory over Leeds United in 2006, denied that his side had been overawed by the big occasion.

He added: “It’s not a matter of being overawed – it’s about making sure you think correctly when the pressure is on and doing the right things at the right time.

“I didn’t recognise a lot of my lads out there for half an hour today.

“For one or two of them it was too much but I do have to say that they have been absolutely outstanding all season.

“The mark of any individual is how quickly they bounce back and I know this group will bounce back.”