1. Radcliffe Olympic v Sheffield Wednesday

Tie number one of the first round proper of this year’s FA Women’s Cup is a Premier League v Regional League affair. Radcliffe Olympic (at the time of writing) sit in fourth place in the FA Women’s Premier League, Midlands Division One (level 4 of the pyramid), while Sheffield Wednesday lie in mid table of the Southern Division of the North East Regional League (level 6).

Wednesday are one of five teams left in this competition playing at this level, and with all level 6 and 7 teams having already been eliminated, they are therefore one of the lowest-ranked teams still taking part.

Radcliffe Olympic have been scoring for fun in this year’s FA Cup, netting 14 times in their two previous ties, and will be hoping for a repeat of last year when they progressed past this stage with a penalty shoot-out win over Peterborough Northern Star. Last season’s cup run was eventually ended in the second round by Leicester City Women.

Wednesday’s victories over Brighouse Athletic, Steel City Wanderers and Wallsend Boys Club (the latter two teams both playing in higher divisions than Wednesday) have seen them already go three rounds further into the tournament than they did last year, when they fell at the first hurdle to Oughtibridge War Memorial.

My prediction: Home win. The Owls won’t make it easy for Olympic, but for me the East Midlands club are the stronger team and their quality will take them over the line.

The stats

Radcliffe Olympic (@ROFC1876)

WPL, Midland Division 1 (level 4)
League form: w5 d0 l3 gd+15 = 4th place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Wyrley (level 6) 1-6 Radcliffe Olympic
4Q – Radcliffe Olympic 8-0 Gornal (7)

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Radcliffe Olympic 2-1 (aet) Oughtibridge War Memorial (6)
4Q – Burton Albion (6) 1-1 (aet, 3-4 pens) Radcliffe Olympic
1R – Peterborough Northern Star (4) 1-1 (aet, 2-4 pens) Radcliffe Olympic
2R – Leicester City WFC (4) 2-1 Radcliffe Olympic

Sheffield Wednesday (@ShefWedLadies)

North East Regional League, Southern Division (level 6)
League form: w3 d1 l2 gd+3 = 6th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
2Q – Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Brighouse Athletic (level 7)
3Q – Steel City Wanderers (4) 1-4 Sheffield Wednesday
4Q – Wallsend Boys Club (5) 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

2015/16 FA Cup
2Q – Oughtibridge War Memorial (6) 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday


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