Sunderland keeper eyes place in cup final

Rachael Laws
Rachael Laws
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SUNDERLAND Women’s goalkeeper Rachael Laws is hoping to heap more cup misery on rivals Leeds United.

The Lady Black Cats are due to host the Yorkshire outfit in Sunday’s Premier League Cup semi-final – weather permitting – at Eppleton CW (2pm kick-off).

The two sides met in the final last season, with the Wearsiders triumphing 2-1.

And Laws is hoping that Sunderland can put United to the sword again this time around.

She told the Echo: “It’s always nice to get one over on your local rivals, especially Leeds!

“But whoever we play, and whether it’s in the league or in the cup, we always want to win, and Sunday will be no different.”

While Laws, who has played for England Women’s Under-23 side, believes that Sunderland can progress in the competition, she isn’t expecting an easy game.

She added: “Games against Leeds are always tough.

“We’ve both been at the top end of the National Women’s Premier League for a few years now, so we always expect a close game.”

Recent meetings would suggest a close encounter.

The 2-1 win over United at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium in last season’s final has been followed by two drawn league clashes.

Laws, from Hebburn, admits that a win and a clean sheet would be the ideal finish to the weekend.

“We always aim for clean sheet,and clean sheets normally you win the game, but the main things is the result,” said the goalkeeper.

“If I concede one and we score two then that would be great. After all, a win’s a win, but clean sheets are always important. As a keeper, they are always nice as well.”

Sunderland beat Cardiff 2-0 in the quarter-finals, with Beth Mead and Sophie Williams, from Whitburn, on target, while Leeds progressed with a 3-2 win over Charlton.

Sunderland are in cup action again next weekend when they host Super League side Liverpool in the Women’s FA Cup quarter-finals.