FA Women’s Cup Arsenal drawn at home to Gillingham

While the FA WSL clubs are currently on international break, the FA Women’s Cup round 3 was played and Arsenal now know their opponent for next Sunday’s tie will be Gillingham Women.

The FA WNL Southern Division team won in extra at Cheltenham and will set a rematch of the game from seven years ago. That was a game won thanks to a Kelly Smith brace under Shelley Kerr’s stewardship.

There were also two cupsets with Wolves winning at Watford and Southampton beating Yeovil 3-0 a game that I attended under bizarre weather. We had heavy showers, snow and sunny spells in the 90 minutes.

Southampton are a very good Tier 4 side, they have a nice set-up and facilities as well as a big coaching staff managed by Gunners legend Marianne Spacey and with one of the assistants our former Academy manager, Lauren Phillips.

Both sides tried to play good quality football, building up play from the back and Southampton were deserved winners as they had more composure on the ball overall and scored three good goals. It was very entertaining apart from the difficult weather on a top quality pitch, maybe even better that some FA WSL/FA WC pitches.

As the FA has ended up in the FA WNL season early again due to Covid-19, following a consultation with the clubs and a vote, there are a few teams in Tier 4 that are more than good enough to play in Tier 3 and maybe even Tier 2 but have been denied promotion again.

Wolves and Southampton will certainly apply for promotion along with others as we are wait to see what the FA will do.

Here are the Women’s FA Cup third round results:

  • Huddersfield Town 1-1 (aet) Brighouse Town (5-3 on pens)
  • Middlesbrough 4-0 Wem Town
  • Burnley 0-0 (aet) Sunderland (3-1 on pens)
  • Oxford United 3-1 Billericay Town
  • West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Derby County
  • Watford 1-4 Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Cheltenham Town 1-2 (aet) Gillingham
  • Southampton Women 3-0 Yeovil United
  • Leyton Orient 1-2 Chichester & Selsey

The full fourth round draw, where FA WSL and FA WC teams enter the competition:

  • Chelsea v London City Lionesses (Fri 16 Apr, 7pm)
  • Manchester City v Aston Villa (Sat 17 Apr, 1pm)
  • Leicester City v Liverpool
  • Middlesbrough* v Sheffield United Women
  • Birmingham City v Coventry United
  • Burnley* v Manchester United
  • Everton v Durham
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers** v Blackburn Rovers
  • Huddersfield Town* v Derby County*
  • Reading v Tottenham Hotspur
  • Oxford United* v Charlton Athletic
  • Arsenal v Gillingham*
  • Lewes v Southampton Women**
  • Brighton & Hove Albion v Bristol City
  • West Ham United v Chichester & Selsey*
  • Crystal Palace v London Bees

There are a few tasty ties and we might see some Tier 4 sides in the hat for Round 5 with a guaranteed Tier 3 team going through.

It will be interesting to see what kind of starting 11 Joe Montemurro will select as rotation will be needed with many players currently on international duty likely to play 180 minutes over two games and needed a little breather before the key League games that will decide if the team goes through to the Champions League next season.

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