Winger Holly Findlay predicts tough Cup test for Leeds United Women at Stockport County
The two Division One North sides enter the competition along with 45 other tier four teams, of which 16 have already been eliminated after most second round qualifying ties were played last Sunday.
“It would be a really good win,” admitted Leeds United Women’s player Findlay. “Stockport are a good team – a team to give some respect to.
“They’re entertaining, a lively bunch.”
Findlay grabbed one of the many goals in Leeds’ last meeting with Stockport in November 2019, when the Whites delivered an impressive comeback, turning around a half-time deficit to win 5-3.
Stockport are currently third in the division; having won two of their first three games – they sit two points above Leeds in the table.
Leeds begin their Cup run with just three competitive matches under their belt – a win, a loss, and a draw.
Findlay has identified a common theme of their performances so far.
The 35-year-old, who works as a PE teacher in South Yorkshire, said: “At times, the football we play has been incredible.
“We could have had three wins – if we’d bagged enough goals. But it’s the hardest thing in football, isn’t it?”
Findlay compared her team’s troubles to the problems Marcelo Bielsa’s men had in their match against Wolves on Monday night, observing their shared failure to convert a strong performance to the desired result.
She said: “It’s always been a second-half thriller – us dominating in the first half, then the second half is hard work. Every game has been like that.”
But after consecutive postponements took Leeds out of the action for three weeks, the Whites have had the chance to experiment with their strategy.
Findlay, now in her fourth season with Leeds, said: “During the time off, we’ve had training games against our Under-23s, which were really good, really competitive because we’ve got some great talent there. We’ve tried out different formations. We’ve got options to mix things up.
“I think it’s a confidence thing. An early goal would be a confidence boost on Sunday.”
With the draw for the next round having taken place earlier this week, there’s more than a spot in the next stage of the cup at stake for Leeds.
A win tomorrow would set up a clash with Barnsley, who knocked the Whites out in the same round of last year’s competition with a 3-0 win at Thorp Arch.
Findlay, who scored 70 goals in 151 appearances for the Reds before joining Leeds, is hoping for a chance to set the record straight. She added: “We are due to give a team a hiding. When will that come? We’ll see.”
Leeds United Women take on Stockport County behind closed doors tomorrow at Stockport Sports Village, kick-off 2pm.
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