27. Southampton v Swindon Town

Originally scheduled (along with all of the other first round matches) for 4 December, this was the only first round tie to fall victim to the weather. Overnight frost had left the pitch frozen solid, and although by the time kickoff approached most of the playing surface had been thawed by the winter sunshine, a small area that had been in the shade all day was deemed to be unplayable. The referee called the game off shortly before kick off, and the match was re-arranged for seven days later.

The second round draw was made a day after the postponement, and the eventual winners of this game will be playing away to Cambridge United. Cambridge upset Southern Division side Queens Park Rangers to make it into the second round, so it will be a tricky tie for whoever progresses.

The original match preview is shown below.

Southern Region League side Southampton will be hosting Swindon Town of the WPL Southern Division in tie number 27 of the SSE Women’s FA Cup first round. It’s a battle between two teams who were both promoted in the summer after winning their respective divisions – Southern Region Division One in the case of Southampton and WPL South West Division One for Swindon.

Southampton have clearly adjusted well to their new division this season and are sitting on top of the league with a 100% win record so far. Swindon are finding things a little tougher – they’ve lost ten of their opening twelve games, but the six points they’ve picked up from their other two matches is enough to lift them up to 9th place.

Swindon are joining this season’s Women’s FA Cup at the first round stage, but have played in both the WPL Cup and WPL Plate this season – losing their only game in each competition. Southampton’s cup performance has been a little more impressive, they beat Bournemouth Sports 12-0 in the second qualifying round, then won 5-1 against Fleet Town before upsetting WPL side Shanklin to reach the first round.

Southampton have already bettered their cup run of last year, when they got as far as the third qualifying round. Swindon reached the second round proper, where they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur.

My prediction: This tie has the potential for a cup upset. Swindon are having a tough season so far, while Southampton are in tremendous form, but I think on this occasion we’ll see SwIndon progressing through to the next round.

The stats

Southampton (@SotonWomensFC)

Southern Region Women’s Football League, Premier Division (level 5)
League form: w6 d0 l0 gd+29 = 1st place out of 9

2016/17 FA Cup
2Q – Bournemouth Sports (level 7) 0-12 Southampton
3Q – Southampton 5-1 Fleet Town (6)
4Q – Shanklin (4) 0-3 Southampton

2015/16 FA Cup
1Q – Southampton 7-2 Winchester City Flyers (6)
2Q – Southampton 4-0 Wimborne Town (7)
3Q – Southampton 2-2 (aet, 4-5 pens) London Corinthians (5)

Swindon Town (@SwindonTownLFC)

FA Women’s Premier League, Southern Division (level 3)
League form: w2 d0 l10 gd-20 = 9th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
Entered at first round

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Long Lane (level 6) 0-12 Swindon Town
4Q – Larkhall Athletic (4) 2-3 Swindon Town
1R – Old Actonians (4) 0-1 Swindon Town
2R – Swindon Town 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur (3)

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