April 2013: TORQUAY 1 (Labadie 3) CITY 3 (McArdle 7, Thompson 18, Hanson 48)

GARRY Thompson admits he always has a “glass half-full” approach to life.

The recently-installed Bradford (Park Avenue) boss has a very confident outlook about his first job in management.

Thompson certainly harbours plenty of positive memories about his last time in the city with Phil Parkinson’s Bantams – and a season that proved what can be achieved with the right mindset.

Two trips to Wembley secured the legend of Phil Parkinson’s history makers six years ago. But those were achieved on the back of games when City had to roll up their sleeves to dig out a result.

None more so than the icy Easter Monday afternoon in the west country against Torquay.

A two-goal fightback at Valley Parade three days earlier had salvaged a draw with Southend but City’s play-off hopes still looked distant.

Anything less than three points from deepest Devon and they could realistically wave goodbye to hopes of returning to the national stadium on the back of their Capital One Cup appearance.

The conditions on the "English Riviera" ensured it was no day for faint hearts – Parkinson and assistant Steve Parkin had modified the game-plan on the morning of the game after an early inspection of the rock-hard Plainmoor pitch.

An uneven surface meant a safety-first approach with no time to dwell on the ball.

But City made the worst possible start by conceding a soft goal just three minutes in.

Davies tangled with Ryan Jarvis trying to deal with a Tom Cruise cross, Kyel Reid made a mess of trying to clear and the rebound fell for Joss Labadie to drill into the bottom corner.

City’s powers of recovery were being put to the test 300 miles from home.

They should have had an instant penalty when Brian Saah handled above his head but the visiting frustration was quickly eased with an equaliser. Gary Jones delivered a curling free-kick and Rory McArdle converted with a trademark header.

City were in the ascendancy and Thompson was a whisker wide with a wind-assisted pot shot from 35 yards. Then Nahki Wells collected a Jones pass and held off two Torquay defenders to fire just past the post.

Wells, starting his first game in a month, was causing all kinds of problems and reacted again to James Hanson’s flick-on.

He collided with keeper Michael Poke and the ball fell loose for Thompson to lash home with unstoppable force.

Poke had come off second best in the challenge and had to be replaced in Torquay’s goal by Martin Rice as City hit the front for the first time.

The substitute needed two grabs at a Jones 25-yarder before Saah fired a warning shot over the City bar.

Parkinson’s troops wanted some breathing space – and got it soon after the restart.

Wells was again at the heart of the move, controlling a through ball and laying off for Thompson.

He hung a cross to the far post and there was Hanson to power in his second goal of the Easter weekend.

It could have got even better for the Bantams but referee Rob Lewis waved away huge shouts for a foul when Angus MacDonald sent Wells tumbling in the box.

Skipper Jones failed to spot an unmarked Thompson in yards of space from another City break and Wells went close from a James Meredith cross.

But a gutsy win was in the bag – and the road to Wembley was opening up once again.

TORQUAY: Poke (Rice 21), Cruise, MacDonald, Saah, Oastler, Mansell, Labadie, Bodin (Macklin 73), Jarvis (Chappell 62), Benyon, Howe

CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Reid, Ravenhill, Jones, Thompson, Wells (Atkinson 85), Hanson.

REFEREE: Robert Lewis