Bradford manager Phil Parkinson admitted his players had far exceeded his expectations after seeing them inflict more embarrassment on top-flight opposition with a stunning 3-1 win over Aston Villa in last night's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
Parkinson's npower League Two promotion-chasers, who upset Arsenal in a memorable penalty shootout triumph in the quarter-finals, edged closer to fulfilling a Wembley dream in front of another full house at Valley Parade and will defend a two-goal advantage in the return leg at Villa Park in two weeks' time.
Nahki Wells' clinical finish, several top-class saves from man-of-the-match Matt Duke and some glaring Villa misses ensured Bradford took a slender lead into half-time.
Rory McArdle headed the West Yorkshire club into an unlikely two-goal lead in the 77th minute and although Andreas Weimann got one back in the 82nd minute, Carl McHugh restored their two-goal lead two minutes from time.
"I was asked before the game on the TV, would we take a draw? I said 'yes'," Parkinson said. "Obviously we would have taken a draw.
"We didn't set out to get a draw, we actually set out to win the game, but if we had been going there with a draw it wouldn't have been the worse scenario in the world.
"To be going there two goals ahead is great. We said to the lads before the game that if Villa are going to get to Wembley we're going to really make them earn it."
A crowd of 22,245, swelled by Villa's 4,313 travelling fans, were treated to another thrilling cup upset.