Their West Yorkshire opponents were delayed in transit, and the game kicked off at 8pm, giving them barely 45 minutes to prepare.
Bradford Park Avenue looked off the pace in the first half, and the tone was set after just four minutes. A corner awarded on the right found the head of Nathan Cameron, and he guided a downward header into the far corner past George Sykes-Kenworthy.
Sykes-Kenworthy was then in danger of being overworked, as the Avenue team in front of him virtually ran up the white flag. Kai Williams, who suffered a broken bone in his foot in this fixture last season, ending his season, almost forced home a low ball at the near post.
Within a minute, Williams was gifted possession by Avenue, and he fed Montel Gibson for a shot saved by the keeper.
The Bucks were all fancying their chances of adding to the score. Jordan Piggott’s shot was deflected out for a corner, Sykes-Kenworthy produced an outstanding save to claw Harry Flowers looping header from a Robbie Evans cross to safety, and Williams fired a low shot just wide.
There was also a penalty appeal for handball, Gibson’s shot striking an Avenue player, whilst Cameron could have added a second, unable to steer a low free-kick in off his shins.
Avenue’s sole response was a Will Longbottom free-kick, saved by Joe Young, but in the closing minutes of the half the Bucks extended their lead. Revenge was a dish best served cold for Williams, who directed an inch-perfect header into the far corner from a Daniels cross, beating Sam Fielding in the air, the man who had inflicted his injury upon him in 2022.
As the game edged into added time, Piggott was scythed down as he surged into the box, and although Sykes-Kenworthy saved Gibson’s initial spot-kick, the striker reacted fastest to slot home the rebound.
Gibson added a successful penalty in the 49th minute after Robbie Evans’ shot was handled in the box, firing the ball hard and high over Sykes-Kenworthy.
Avenue did put up more resistance following that goal, but the Bucks largely held them at arm’s length to send their fans home cold but happy, although a late injury to Jordan Piggott did cast a dark cloud.