Sheffield FC Women’s involvement in the 2019/20 Women’s FA Cup commences this Sunday with a short trip to Barnsley FC Women in the Second Round Proper of this season’s competition.
Barnsley have won through three rounds to record their best run in the competition to date, beating Bradford City, Leeds United and, latterly, Crewe Alexandra in extra time.
Currently top of the FA Women’s National League North Division 1, Barnsley lie just two places below their opponents in the women’s pyramid, with Sheffield struggling in the division above and sitting just one place off the foot of the Northern Premier division table.
The teams met just less than 12 months ago in the quarter-finals of the Sheffield & Hallamshire Women’s Challenge Cup, a game Barnsley won 2-1, and the Reds will be confident of posting a similar victory in this Sunday’s encounter.
Sheffield FC has had some memorable days in the Women’s FA Cup over the years, with the team’s best showing being a fifth round tie back in 2015 where they lost 2-0 to Aston Villa, and have reached the fourth round on six occasions.
Still rebuilding after being forced to withdraw from Tier 2 football, Sheffield are on their third manager in 16 months. New manager, Graham Abercrombie, has had a positive impact and has got stuck into the job of turning Club’s recent fortunes around.
Abercrombie, who has been in post just six weeks but only had two matches in that period, is looking forward to a different challenge away from the league campaign:
“It’s always fantastic to be involved with the Women’s FA Cup in any round, and for this one to be a local derby against Barnsley just adds to the occasion.”
“Our preparation has been terrific all week, and we’re growing stronger and stronger as a group both on the field and off the field of play.”
“We are working extremely hard on a style of play that is exciting and gets supporters out of their seats, and I’m certain that this week-ends game, with two great teams playing, will not disappoint.”
The Women’s FA Cup is all about creating memories and moments that are talked about for years to come, and Abercrombie has some very special memories of the competition:
“I have some very fond memories of the FA Cup and one in particular, where I was fortunate enough to manage West Bromwich Albion all the way to the quarter-finals where we faced Manchester City.”
“We’d beaten some much higher opposition in the previous rounds to get to that stage, and ran out very credible 2-0 losers on the day to the team that would eventually win the FA Cup and the WSL as unbeaten champions that season.
Great days that I’m hoping will be repeated here at Sheffield FC over the coming seasons.”
The second round tie kicks off at 3pm on Sunday 1 December at the Oakwell Academy, S71 1ET. Admission is £3 adults and free for children.