Cheltenham Town Ladies have been reinstated to the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after Portsmouth Women were punished for fielding an ineligible player.
Pompey won last Sunday’s second round tie in Hampshire 2-0 after extra-time, but they have now been expelled from the competition so the Robins move through to the next stage of the competition.
A statement said: “Portsmouth FC Women have been removed from this season’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup following the fielding of an ineligible player during Sunday’s second round tie against Cheltenham Town.
“As a result, the tie has been awarded to Cheltenham and they will take on Gillingham this weekend. No further action has been taken against the club.”
Tom Davies’ Cheltenham team will play Gillingham at home on Sunday (2pm), with the winners away to WSL giants Arsenal in round four on April 18.
Cheltenham chairman Andy Liddle said: “Both sides played their socks off for 120 minutes on Sunday after a lengthy Covid enforced break.
“Football matches should be won on the pitch, but sadly admin errors happen. Someone has made a simple mistake here, and it has cost Portsmouth dearly; I feel for them.
“We’re now looking forward to another tremendous game with Gillingham, with a huge opportunity for one side to progress to a mouth watering tie away at multiple FA Cup winners Arsenal in the last 32.”
Gillingham booked their place in the third round with a 3-2 win at Crawley Wasps.
Like Portsmouth they play one level above Cheltenham, in the Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.
Cheltenham, who knocked out Exeter City on penalties in round one, will be without experienced goalkeeper Robyn Levett, who suffered a knee injury at Westleigh Park.
Molly Ripley went on from the bench for her senior debut and she is likely to make her first start against Gillingham.
Vitality Women’s FA Cup third round fixtures
Huddersfield Town WFC v Brighouse Town Women
Middlesbrough Women v Wem Town Ladies
Burnley Women v Sunderland AFC Ladies
Oxford United Women v Billericay Town LFC
West Bromwich Albion Women v Derby County Women
Cheltenham Town Ladies v Gillingham Ladies
Southampton Women v Yeovil United Women
Leyton Orient WFC v Chichester & Selsey Ladies
Watford Women v Wolverhampton Wanderers Women