26. Norwich City v AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon will travel to Norfolk on Sunday to take on Norwich City in tie number 26 of the Women’s FA Cup first round. Wimbledon have joined Norwich playing in South East Division One of the WPL this season, having been runaway winners of the London & South East Regional League last season to secure promotion.

A quick look at the league table shows AFC Wimbledon in an excellent second place halfway through their debut season in the WPL, with Norwich down in tenth. This is a slightly misleading picture however, as Norwich have only played five games so far, six fewer than Wimbledon. In fact Norwich have played between two and six games fewer than every other team in the division, so there’s plenty of opportunity for them to climb the table as the season progresses.

Both teams entered this year’s FA Cup in the third qualifying round. Wimbledon have beaten Bexhill United and Denham United to reach the first round, while Norwich have thrashed Riverside 10-0 and squeezed past Lowestoft Town thanks to a penalty shootout. Both of Norwich’s games were played at home, continuing a remarkable run of home ties in the FA Cup stretching back three years! Their last away game in the competition was a defeat to Enfield Town in the first round during the 2013/14 season.

Last time these teams met was a league match in September when AFC Wimbledon were 3-0 winners on their home turf, thanks to goals from Jess Trimnell, Kelly-Jade Whelan and Caroline Bisson. They are due to play the return fixture next weekend.

My prediction: AFC Wimbledon are a strong team on a terrific run of form. I think that Norwich will find it difficult to get anything from this match.

The stats

Norwich City (@NCFCLadies)

FA Women’s Premier League, South East Division One (level 4)
League form: w1 d0 l4 gd-3 = 10th place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Norwich City 10-0 Riverside (level 6)
4Q – Norwich City 3-3 (aet, 4-3 pens) Lowestoft Town (4)

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Norwich City 0-1 Marlow (5)

AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWLadiesGirls)

FA Women’s Premier League, South East Division One (level 4)
League form: w7 d1 l3 gd+8 = 2nd place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Bexhill United (level 6) 0-6 AFC Wimbledon
4Q – AFC Wimbledon 4-2 Denham United (4)

2015/16 FA Cup
1Q – AFC Wimbledon 9-0 Regents Park Rangers (6)
2Q – AFC Wimbledon 10-0 Abbey Rangers (7)
3Q – Gillingham (4) 7-0 AFC Wimbledon

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