15. Southampton Saints v Gillingham

It’s South West versus South East in this all-WPL Division One FA Cup tie. Southampton Saints, who currently sit in fifth place of South West Division One, will host Gillingham, who are sixth in South East Division One.

Gillingham will be hoping to emulate a strong 2015/16 campaign which saw them finish as runners-up to Crystal Palace in the league and reach as far as the third round proper of the FA Cup. The Saints’ had a respectable, if unspectacular season last year, finishing in sixth place in the league and reaching the fourth qualifying round of the cup.

The Saints have already welcomed Gillingham to their home ground once this season when the teams met in the determining round of the WPL Cup in September. Gillingham were 4-0 winners on that occasion, thanks in part to an Amy Taylor hat-trick, and the Gills beat their south coast opposition last season too – this time a 3-2 victory in the WPL plate.

Southampton’s road to the first round this season has seen them score an impressive 18 goals in two games. They began with an 8-2 win over Downend Flyers of the South West Women’s Football League in the third qualifying round, and followed that up with a 10-0 rout of WPL South West Division One strugglers Exeter City, while Gillingham have comfortably beaten Maidenhead United and Aylesford.

My prediction: Gillingham have already convincingly beaten the Saints this season, but I don’t think they’ll have it all their own way this time. Having said that, I’m still going to pick the Gills for the win.

The stats

Southampton Saints (@SaintsGLFC)

WPL, South West Division One (level 4)
League form: w4 d3 l0 gd+6 = 5th place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Southampton Saints 8-2 Downend Flyers (level 5)
4Q – Southampton Saints 10-0 Exeter City (4)

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Gloucester City (4) w/o Southampton Saints
4Q – Old Actonians (4) 4-1 Southampton Saints

Gillingham (@GillsLadiesFC)

WPL, South East Division One (level 4) 
League form: w4 d3 l0 gd+15 = 6th place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Gillingham 4-0 Maidenhead United (level 4)
4Q – Aylesford (5) 0-7 Gillingham

2015/16 FA Cup 
3Q – Gillingham 7-0 AFC Wimbledon (5)
4Q – Gillingham 3-0 Herne Bay (5)
1R – London Corinthians (5) 3-4 (aet) Gillingham
2R – Forest Green Rovers (3) 1-1 (aet, 1-3 pens) Gillingham
3R – Gillingham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (3)

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