SSE Women’s FA Cup preview – 6. Blackburn Rovers v Hull City

Half of the fourteen ties in the SSE Women’s FA Cup second round feature a WPL Premier side taking on a WPL Division One team, and this game between Blackburn Rovers of the Northern Division and Hull City of Northern Division One falls into that category.

Hull will have a mountain to climb if they are going to progress to the third round this year, as Blackburn have had a phenomenal first half of the season and are looking like the proverbial irresistible force. As well as reaching the second round of the FA Cup, Rovers are in the semi-finals of the WPL Cup and the final of the Lancashire Women’s Challenge Cup, and are undefeated in the FA Women’s Premier League. Their record in those four competitions reads played 17, won 16, drawn 1, lost 0, scored 69, and conceded 11. They even recorded a remarkable 19-0 win over Rotherham United in the Determining Round of the WPL Cup.

In spite of those daunting figures the result is far from a foregone conclusion, as Hull have already beaten Northern Division league leaders Middlesbrough 3-1 this season, when they met in the second round of the WPL Cup. In fact Hull have also had a very impressive season so far, so they will certainly not be lambs to the slaughter in this tie.

Since the FA Cup first round Blackburn’s only match was a 3-1 win over Chester-le-Street in the quarter-final of the WPL Cup, while Hull have had two league victories – 2-1 over Brighouse Town on 11 December and 3-2 against Tranmere Rovers on the 18th. By a strange quirk of fate, this is Blackburn’s first FA Cup game on their own ground for two years, so they’ll want to put in an impressive performance in front of the home fans.

My prediction: Although Hull are a very good side, Blackburn seem to be unstoppable at the moment and I think they’ll be too strong for their Division One opponents. Home win.

The stats

Blackburn Rovers (@RoversLadies)

WPL, Northern Division (level 3)
League form: w8 d1 l0 gd+18 = 2nd place out of 11

2016/17 FA Cup
1R – Bradford City (level 3) 0-1 Blackburn Rovers

2015/16 FA Cup
2R – Nuneaton Town (3) 0-3 Blackburn Rovers (at Blackburn Rovers)
3R – West Ham United (3) 0-7 Blackburn Rovers
4R – Brighton & Hove Albion (3) 5-2 Blackburn Rovers

Hull City (@HullCityLFC)

WPL, Northern Division One (level 4)
League form: w8 d0 l2 gd+12 = 3rd place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Hull City 4-2 (aet) South Shields (level 6)
4Q – Hull City 6-0 Leeds (4)
1R – Norton & Stockton Ancients (5) 1-6 Hull City

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Hull City 1-1 (aet, 4-5 pens) Tranmere Rovers (4)

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