High-flying Brackley Town's extra cutting edge proved too much as Bradford (Park Avenue) slumped to a 3-0 home defeat.

Avenue had started brightly, with little to choose between the two sides in the opening exchanges, until the visitors took the lead in the 20th minute after an untidy scramble in the box.

The hosts felt there were a couple of fouls in the lead-up to the opener, with Avenue boss Mark Bower later reflecting on a day when key decisions seemed to go against his team.

The second-placed visitors, who looked solid and businesslike in all departments, doubled their lead before the break and added a third early in the second half. Avenue kept battling, enjoyed spells of promising possession and carved out decent openings of their own.

Afterwards, Bower said: "We've come up against a really good side, who were as good as we're going to come up against this season. I felt we competed well, I felt there was nothing in the game until they got a corner 20 minutes in or so.

"As much as you don't want to moan about referees and decisions going against you, you could argue a case for all three goals today."

But Bower praised his men for sticking to the task in difficult circumstances.

"We've kept going well," he reflected.

"First half they've scored from their two chances, probably their only two shots.

"I thought it was harsh on us - we did create chances, we had a decent amount of possession, got in their box probably as many times as they got in ours, but we just didn't have the end product to show for it. We learn lessons from it and look forward to next week."

In transfer news, Avenue announced the signing of goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy prior to kick-off on Saturday.

Previously at Bradford City and Derby County, George will give Avenue an extra option in goal alongside Jonny Saltmer.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United have recalled Oliver Arblaster from his loan deal at Avenue

Since arriving, Arblaster has shown potential, including a call up to the England U18s Squad.

Bower said: "In his time with us, Oli has shown what an exceptional talent he is, and we hope his career has been helped by his time here with us. We wish him all the best

The club moved quickly to replace Arblaster, securing the services of another loanee from Sheffield United in the form of Francis Maguire, another rising talent.