25. Luton Town v Portsmouth

The 25th tie drawn in the FA Women’s Cup first round is Luton Town versus Portsmouth. Luton currently play their league football in the WPL South East Division One, where they are in fifth place with five wins from their opening ten games. Pompey play one level higher up the pyramid in the Southern Division. They too are in a mid-table position half way through the season, their four wins from ten games puts them in seventh place.

Luton began their current FA Cup campaign in the third qualifying round, where they were drawn away to AFC Sudbury of the Eastern Region Women’s Football League. A 3-2 win there set up a home tie with Southern Region side Oxford City, who they thumped 6-1. The Hatters have been going well in the WPL Plate too. Victories over Plymouth Argyle and Stevenage have earned them a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament, where they are due to face Lewes next weekend.

Portsmouth are making their entrance into this year’s FA Cup on Sunday. Last year saw them reach the third round, where they were narrowly beaten by WSL2 team Aston Villa. Luton reached the second round last time out, but coming up against eventual WPL champions Brighton & Hove Albion was too much for them and they were soundly beaten.

My prediction: Both teams have had a respectable, if unspectacular first half of the season, and Luton are definitely capable of pulling off a cup upset. However, on this occasion I think Pompey will be too strong for the Bedfordshire team, so I’m going for a Portsmouth win.

The stats

Luton Town (@LTLFC_Official)

FA Women’s Premier League, South East Division One (level 4)
League form: w5 d2 l3 gd+5 = 5th place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – AFC Sudbury (level 5) 2-3 Luton Town
4Q – Luton Town 6-1 Oxford City (5)

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Luton Town 3-1 Acle United (5)
4Q – Marlow (5) 1-4 Luton Town
1R – Bedford (4) 2-3 Luton Town
2R – Brighton & Hove Albion (3) 7-0 Luton Town

Portsmouth (@PompeyFCLadies)

FA Women’s Premier League, Southern Division (level 3)
League form: w4 d1 l5 gd-5 = 7th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
Entered at first round

2015/16 FA Cup
2R – Portsmouth 2-0 Cardiff City (level 3)
3R – Aston Villa (2) 1-0 Portsmouth

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