2. Sheffield United v Leicester City Women Development

The second tie of the first round proper pits two East Midlands Regional League sides against each other. Sheffield United of the Premier Division will face Leicester City Women’s Development of Division One South.

Both teams are flying high in their respective divisions this season – The Bladettes currently lie in second place behind Mansfield Town and the Leicester side are sitting at the top of the league with a 100% win record. This should be a close fought battle, with the visitors already having comfortably seen off Sheffield United’s divisional rivals Bedworth United 6-2 in the third qualifying round.

Sheffield United have already improved on last season’s cup performance, when they were beaten in the second qualifying round by Handsworth (who were later relegated from East Midlands Division One South at the end of the season). Leicester meanwhile didn’t take part in the FA Cup last season, they did however take the Leicestershire Women’s Senior League title (and promotion to the East Midlands Regional League) without losing a single match – form which they have carried forward into this season.

My prediction: I can see an upset on the cards here. Leicester are clearly a quality side and are capable of playing at a higher level than where they currently find themselves. I think they will beat their Premier Division opponents and move on into the second round.

The stats

Sheffield United (@SUComLadiesFC)

East Midlands Regional League, Premier Division (level 5)
League form: w6 d1 l1 gd+25 = 2nd place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
2Q – Bradford Park Avenue (level 7) 1-8 Sheffield United
3Q – Chester-le-Street (4) 0-1 Sheffield United
4Q – Sheffield United 3-1 Merseyrail Bootle (6)

2015/16 FA Cup
1Q – Sheffield United Community 4-2 Harrogate Railway (6)
2Q – Sheffield United Community 0-1 Handsworth (6)

Leicester City WFC Development (@LCWFC_official)

East Midlands Regional League, Division One South (level 6)
League form: w5 d0 l0 gd+25 = 1st place out of 9

2016/17 FA Cup
2Q – Leicester City WFC Development 3-0 Winterton Rangers (level 6)
3Q – Bedworth United (5) 2-6 Leicester City WFC Development
4Q – Leek Town (6) 1-2 (aet) Leicester City WFC Development

2015/16 FA Cup
Did not enter

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