Playing in the FA Cup Final was ‘unbelievable’, says Leeds United Women midfielder Sarah Danby ahead of the Whites’ second round tie

Sarah Danby is looking forward to the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup as Leeds United hope to qualify to the next round of the competition on Sunday afternoon.

By Flora Snelson
Sunday, 5th December 2021, 1:31 pm

The Whites will travel to Division One North rivals Norton and Stockton Ancients on Sunday afternoon in a second round proper tie.

Dan O’Hearne’s side are yet to concede a goal in the competition, having progressed to this stage via two 4-0 wins against Redcar Town and Hartlepool United.

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Leeds already have an FA Cup finalist among their ranks, as summer signing Danby featured for Sunderland against Arsenal in the final at Pride Park back in 2009.

The midfielder came on in the 84th minute as the Black Cats fell to a 2-1 defeat to Vic Aker’s Gunners.

This week, Danby has shared some of her memories of the competition as the Whites prepare to take on Norton.

“It’s the biggest cup in Women’s football, especially in this country so it is a competition we want to do well in,” Danby said.

Leeds United Women midfielder Sarah Danby in action against Stockport County. Pic: LUFC.

“For me, I have some great memories in the FA Cup and with Leeds I want to make some more, all the girls do and we want to go as far as we can.

“I played in the 2009 FA Cup final for Sunderland against Arsenal, which was unbelievable at the time. We were in the second tier of Women’s football then so it was a great achievement and we were massive underdogs.

“In our team at that time we had the likes of Lucy Bronze, Jordan Knobbs, that type of player. Not many people can say they have played in an FA Cup final so I am really proud to be able to say that, and to have lined up alongside some great players as well is great.

“The cup is magic at times and the match is just never, ever over in knock-out football, anything can happen."

Leeds United Women prepare for first round tie against Hartlepool United. Pic: LUFC

Since the Norton tie was snowed off last weekend, the draw for the third round of the FA Cup have been made, meaning both sides head into Sunday afternoon's rescheduled clash knowing that a home contest against Championship side Durham is at stake.

“We know the draw now and it’s a great incentive to go out there this weekend and put in a performance,” Danby told the Leeds United website.

“We want to challenge ourselves against that kind of team, it puts it into perspective for us, showing us how far we need to progress.

“Playing in these cups, you want a tough draw, you want the challenge and Norton will certainly give us that.

Laura Bartup and Sandra Soares-Martin celebrate during Leeds United's 4-0 victory over Hartlepool United. Pic: LUFC

“Both teams will feel they can win and our eyes are on this game completely, but we are excited at the prospect of what’s to come if we can get past them and I know they will feel the same way.

“I will always back us though, I know we have the ability and the talent to get through.”

Leeds United kick off against Norton and Stockton Ancients at 1pm on Sunday December 5.

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