Hat-trick hero Sarah Danby insists Leeds United Women are ready for tough Yorkshire derby
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Danby struck a hat-trick on Sunday to help the Whites progress from a Round-of-16 tie against Bradford Park Avenue with an impressive 13-0 victory.
Kirstie Hunt opened the scoring in the second minute, with Danby converting a spot-kick for Leeds' ninth goal on the cusp of half-time before hitting two more after the break as Dan O'Hearne's side breezed past sixth-tier Bradford to bag a place in the final eight.
For the next stage of the competition, the Whites have drawn more challenging opposition, with an away tie against fifth-tier Harrogate Town set for Sunday.
This season, Town have suffered two defeats in ten games in all competitions and currently sit third in the North East Regional Premier League.
The North Yorkshire side progressed to the quarter-finals through a 5-2 win over Ossett United, with a hat-trick by Nat Eustance and a brace from Emma Elliot sending Harrogate through to set up a meeting with Leeds.
With last year's tournament called off due to coronavirus, O'Hearne's side last reached the County Cup quarter-finals in 2020, when a brace from Brighouse Town attacker Hannah Freibach - who has been wearing the number 19 shirt for the Whites this season - helped Town claim a 4-2 win and knock United out of the competition.
As they prepare to try and go one better this season, Danby insists the Bradford victory gave her side the start to the year they wanted.
“It was good," said Danby, who signed for Leeds from third-tier Huddersfield Town ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign.
"Obviously it’s a different game with it being the cup, but we just wanted to progress and put in a professional performance.
“It wasn’t really about the score line for us, it was more about coming back after the Christmas break and getting the result today, which we did."
Though Leeds now face opponents from the division below, Danby and her team-mates won't be making assumptions about Sunday's quarter-final contest.
“It will be a difficult test for us," Danby said. .
"We’re not going to take that lightly whatsoever, we will prepare throughout the week.
“We’ll go with the mindset that we’re going to have a really tough game and it’s not one we’re just going to walk over.
"We'll make sure we are ready."