FA Women’s Cup – 1st qualifying round preview, part 2

Continuing on from part one, where we looked at ties 1 to 10, here are the next ten fixtures that have been drawn out of the hat.

11. Malet Lambert (@Malet_Ladies) v Wakefield (@WakeyFCLadies)

Malet Lambert are coming off the back of a difficult season last year, where they narrowly avoided relegation from the North East Regional League thanks to a ninth-place finish out of ten teams in the Southern Division. They also failed to make an impact in the FA Cup last time around, losing 1-0 to their divisional rivals Ossett Albion. Wakefield also struggled to find league form in the Premier Division of the same league, finishing ninth of eleven, and their FA Cup campaign was just as brief as Malet Lambert’s – they lost their sole match 7-0 to Farsley Celtic. This game provides both teams the opportunity to kick-start their season and give themselves a much-needed boost going into the new campaign.

12. Ossett Albion (@OALFC) v Farsley Celtic

By a strange coincidence, this tie brings together the two teams who knocked out the teams in tie 11 (above) in last season’s FA Cup. Following their defeat of Malet Lambert in the second qualifying round last year, Ossett Albion were stopped by Hartlepool United at the next stage. Farsley Celtic were also eliminated in the third qualifying round after their impressive victory over Wakefield – they lost 4-2 at home to Merseyrail Bootle. Both of these teams played in the North East Regional League Southern Division last year: Ossett Albion finished in seventh place, while Farsley Celtic were promoted as champions in the summer with an impressive 16 wins from 18 games. Farsley completed a dominant league double over Ossett last season with 5-1 and 7-1 victories against their cup opponents.

13. Dronfield Town (@DTFCLadies) v Harworth Colliery (@HCILFC)

This game is a match-up of two sides from the Sheffield & Hallamshire county league. Harworth Colliery only made their debut in league football last season but dominated Division Three at the first attempt, taking 13 wins and a draw from their 14 league matches, and they will be hoping for similar success in their first FA Cup campaign. Dronfield Town ended 2016/17 in third place in Division One and were eliminated from the FA Cup in the second qualifying round, losing out on penalties to Lincoln Moorlands Railway.

14. Nelson (@NelsonLFC1) v Blackpool (@BFC1887Ladies)

Nelson, who will play the upcoming season in the Championship division of the newly-restructured Lancashire County League, have a huge task in front of them if they are to progress beyond the first qualifying round of their debut FA Cup season. They finished in third place in Lancashire Division Two last season, some 14 points distant from the run-away top two of Sir Tom Finney Reserves and Wigan Athletic Reserves. They face Blackpool, who play their league football three divisions higher up the pyramid in the North West Regional League Premier Division, where they finished in fourth place last season. The Seasiders last played in the FA Cup in 2015/16, when they were knocked out in the first qualifying round by Woolton.

15. Merseyrail Bootle (@Mersey_LFC) v Stockport County (@SCLadiesFC)

Merseyrail Bootle ended last season as champions of North West Regional League Division One South, taking 20 wins from their 22 league games and earning promotion to the Premier Division, where their cup opponents Stockport County currently reside. County finished in a respectable fifth place, and managed to reach qualifying round three in the FA Cup, where they lost out to Brighouse Town. Merseyrail Bootle made it one stage further into the competition, they were beaten by Sheffield United after knocking out City of Manchester and Farsley Celtic in the previous rounds.

16. Wigan Athletic (@WiganALFC) v Accrington

The runners-up in last year’s North West Regional League Premier Division, Wigan Athletic, have been drawn at home to their divisional rivals Accrington Girls & Ladies in tie number 16. The sides met twice in the league in the space of a week in April, the games ending in a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 win to Wigan, with Accrington eventually finishing in tenth place in the final table. Both teams won two games before being knocked out of last year’s FA Cup. Wigan entered the competition in qualifying round one, and beat MSB Woolton and Burnley before losing 3-2 to Wallsend Boys Club, while Accrington joined in one round later and hammered Curzon Ashton 11-2 and beat Tranmere Rovers, eventually losing to Hartlepool United in qualifying round four.

17. FC United Of Manchester (@FCUnitedWomen) v Altrincham (@AltrinchamFCL)

Tie number 17 is another that brings together a pair of divisional rivals. FC United of Manchester and Altrincham both play their league football in Southern Division One of the North West Regional League, and ended last season in second and sixth respectively. FC United did the double over Altrincham in the league and even picked up some silverware in the form of the league cup and the Manchester County FA cup last year, and in the FA Cup FCUM made it as far as the third qualifying round, losing to Norton & Stockton Ancients. Altrincham are making their first ever appearance in the FA Cup this year.

18. West Didsbury & Chorlton (@WDC_Women) v Warrington Wolverines (@WarrWolverines)

West Didsbury & Chorlton versus Warrington Wolverines is actually a repeat of a second qualifying round tie in last season’s FA Cup. On that occasion Chorltonians, as they were then called, lost 2-0 to Warrington, who went on to defeat Lincoln Moorlands Railway before eventually being knocked out by Liverpool Marshall Feds in qualifying round four. Both teams play in the North West Regional League Division One South, and their first league meeting last season was originally due to be played in September 2016, but Chorltonians were unable to fulfil that fixture and were handed a two-point deduction as a result. When the teams eventually met in April of this year Warrington took a narrow 2-1 victory. The return fixture, played just ten days later, was a different story however and Warrington comfortably took the three points, winning 7-2.

19. Manchester Stingers (@McrStingersWFC) v Blackburn Community Sports Club (@BCSCLadies)

Another tie between two teams in the same division – this time the Premier Division of the North West Regional League. Manchester Stingers are making their FA Cup debut this year, while Blackburn CSC are returning to the competition after not taking part last season. In their last cup campaign, during 2015/16, Blackburn reached the fourth qualifying round, where after beating City of Manchester, Chorltonians and Wigan Athletic, their cup run was eventually halted by Mossley Hill. Just four points separated these teams in the final league table last season, Blackburn CSC the higher-placed of the two, and their head-to-head record of a win and a defeat each shows that this is anyone’s game.

20. Fleetwood Town Wrens (@FwoodTownWLFC) v Burnley (@BFCLadies)

Fleetwood Town Wrens are a new name to the FA Cup, but not a new team. Last season, playing under their former guise of Blackpool Wren Rovers, they reached qualifying round four of the competition, but after relegation from the FA WPL in the summer they relocated and re-branded in a link-up with Fleetwood Town FC. Burnley’s FA Cup campaign last season was over almost before it began, thanks to a 7-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic in qualifying round two, but they made up for that by showing some decent form in the league, eventually finishing in third place.

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