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FLW Greats: A look back on how Nahki Wells excelled at Bradford City in 2012/2013



This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back on a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…

It’s unlikely that few Bradford City fans would argue that the 2012-2013 season is by far their most memorable supporting the club in recent years.

Under the stewardship of Phil Parkinson, City were promoted after six seasons in League Two via the play-offs and made it to the League Cup Final, making them the first finalist from the fourth tier since 1962.

One man who was instrumental in City’s success that campaign was current Bristol City striker Nahki Wells, who was in his second season with the club.

The 29-year-old scored 30 goals across City’s mammoth 57 game season, chipping in with eight assists as Parkinson’s men took the League Two play-offs and the League Cup by storm.

Wells started the season slowly with only three goals in his opening nine games but would score a brace in a 4-3 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge in October.

With the Bantams 3-0 down, Wells’ curled a delightful curling 25-yard free-kick before calmly converting a penalty to pull two goals back for City.

Two weeks later, Wells bagged another brace as the City brushed Cheltenham Town aside 3-1 at Valley Parade.

After netting another penalty to bring his side level, Wells scored a sublime left-footed volley to put Phil Parkinson’s men in the lead and set them on course for a 3-1 victory.

Another brace would follow less than three weeks later in the 2-0 win at Aldershot Town, and despite neither goals being as impressive as the ones scored against Dagenham & Redbridge and Cheltenham, both proved just how clinical and natural of a goal scorer Wells can be.

Whilst Wells was scoring in League Two, City had already embarked on their League Cup campaign, having beaten Notts County, Watford, Burton Albion, and Wigan Athletic to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Arsenal.

Wells had scored two goals against Burton in the 3-2 but wasn’t amongst the goal scorers or penalty takers as City foiled Arsene Wenger’s men.

The 29-year-old did, however, find the back of the net in the semi-final of the competition, opening the scoring in City’s opening goal the 3-1 first-leg win over Aston Villa latching on to a Zavon Hines ball, to calmly slot past Shay Given.

Wells would feature in 85 minutes of the second-leg as Bradford hung on against Villa to reach the League Cup final, setting up a meeting with Premier League Swansea City.

Despite being on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing in the final, every Bradford player who played a part in that run will undoubtedly be remembered for a very long time in that part of West Yorkshire.

QUIZ: These 15 players played for both Bradford City and Huddersfield Town – true or false? 

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Lewis O'Brien played for both Bradford City and Huddersfield Town - True or false?

Although it could have been easy for City’s heads to drop after their Wembley humbling, they only went on to lose two more games in League Two, finishing seventh to qualify for the League Two play-offs, with Wells adding four more goals to his league tally.

Wells was on the scoresheet as the Bantams narrowly lost to Burton Albion 3-2 in the first leg of the play-offs and would score a brace in the second to overcome the Brewers on aggregate.

A play-off final clash with Northampton Town and a second trip to Wembley of the season awaited City, with the Bantams clearly banishing any Wembley demons storming into a two goal lead after just 19 minutes.

Wells would add to the scoreline on the 28th-minute slotting volleying home from close range to all but send City up to League One.

The 29-year-old would spend the first half of the following season with the Bantams, scoring 14 goals in 19 League One appearances, but inevitably his form attracted interest from club’s in the higher tiers, with Wells opting for a move to Huddersfield Town in January.

This season, Wells has scored 17 Championship goals for QPR and Bristol City in spells on loan from Premier League Burnley, and although he left the club back in 2014 a lot of Bradford fans won’t be surprised to see their former hero still making the grade in the Championship.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: FLW Greats: A look back on how Nahki Wells excelled at Bradford City in 2012/2013

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