The Bucks will be mystified as to how they went in one goal adrift at half-time at Bradford. Either side of Jordan Preston’s opener in the 33rd minute, the away side had plentiful opportunities to score, but lacked the clinical touch required.
George Sykes-Kenworthy in the home goal was far the busier keeper; he tipped over Montel Gibson’s 25-yard dipping effort, and after Preston had swept a shot in from the edge of the box past Luke Pilling both Gibson and Nate Blissett could easily have put the Bucks 2-1 up. Blissett’s miss in the 40th minute was the one truly glaring chance spurned. Captain Rob Evans rolled Gibson into space down the Avenue left and although Blissett met his near post cross he contrived to head it wide when scoring looked simpler.
Gibson then swivelled to fire a shot in that Sykes-Kenworthy held as he dived to his right, Blissett and Flowers creating the chance by winning consecutive headers from a free-kick.
The pattern of the second half was similar to the first, although the chances became fewer and further in between as it progressed.
Captain Robbie Evans warmed Sykes-Kenworthy’s gloves with a shot from the edge of the box and Gibson fired a fierce low ball across the box that Blissett stretched but couldn’t reach and Brad Bood fired the ball over the bar when arriving at the back post.
Avenue offered little but managed the 1-0 game reasonably well and a rash of late Bucks substitutions didn’t yield any greater threat, although Kai Williams’ pace helped to keep Avenue on their toes.