SSE Women’s FA Cup preview: 2. Derby County v Sheffield United

Part two of our Women’s FA Cup second round preview focuses on Derby County versus Sheffield United. The Bladettes are one of only two regional league sides left in the competition (the other being Southampton of the Southern Region League), so will be firm underdogs for this tie against WPL Northern Division opposition.

Derby’s victory over Huddersfield Town in the first round means that they have already won more games in this year’s FA Cup than they did last time around, when they fell at the first hurdle to Preston North End (now known as Fylde Ladies). They will no doubt fancy their chances of progressing to the third round this year, but of course they underestimate their opponents at their peril.

Sheffield United have already beaten a WPL club this year when they enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Chester-le-Street of Northern Division One on 9 October. Other than that game, which came in the third qualifying round of the cup, they have only faced teams in divisions lower than themselves in cup competition. Since the 4th of December, when they beat Leicester City Women’s development team in the first round, they have played two games – first of all beating Rise Park in the East Midlands Regional League to move up to second place in the table, then they avoided the potential embarrassment of a defeat to their own reserve team by beating them 3-2 in the third round of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup.

The Ewe Rams’ played out a goalless draw with Fylde in the league on 11 December, in what was their only game played since beating Huddersfield in the first round.

My prediction: Sheffield United have done really well to reach this stage, but I think their cup run will be ending with this game. Although Derby’s league form has been slightly hit-and-miss this season, as demonstrated by the fact they’ve lost as many games as they’ve won, I think they will be more than a match for their opponents. I’m going for a home win here.

The stats

Derby County (@DerbyCountyLFC)

WPL, Northern Division (level 3)
League form: w4 d1 l4 gd+1 = 7th place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
1R – Huddersfield Town (level 3) 0-1 Derby County

2015/16 FA Cup
2R – Preston North End (3) 2-1 Derby County

Sheffield United (@SUComLadiesFC)

East Midlands Regional League, Premier Division (level 5)
League form: w7 d1 l1 gd+27 = 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)
1R – Sheffield United 2-0 Leicester City Women Development (6)

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s