Match preview: Barnsley Ladies v Sunderland Ladies

With two games won in this year’s competition, Sunderland finally line-up in the FA Women’s National League Cup First Round Proper this Sunday, with a trip to Barnsley. 

The Lasses had a weekend off last week, with a planned trip to Stoke City postponed on Sunday morning due to bad weather in Staffordshire. 

However, Melanie Reay’s side return to action with a third cup game of the year, with a trip to FAWNL Division One North leaders Barnsley Women.  

Grace McCatty will be available once again, after being due to miss last weeks trip to the Potters. Maria Farrugia has also had time to recover, she only returned for Malta international duty in the early hours of the morning last Sunday. 

Rachel Woolston continues to see a step up in her involvement as she edges closer to a return from her ACL injury. The only faces missing for Sunderland are long term injury misses Allison Cowling and Emily Hutchinson.  

Barnsley have started their season brightly in the FAWNL Division One North, winning six and drawing one of their seven games so far in the league.  

The Yorkshire side got a bye in the Preliminary Round, so a 4-2 win away at Sunderland’s league rivals West Bromwich Albion back in August saw them make the first round. 

Adding to Barnsley strong start, they’ve recently added Division One North top scorer Laura Bartup to the side, the striker started the season with eight goals in eight for Brighouse Town. She scored on her league debut for her new club in a 2-1 win at Leeds United in midweek. 

Scoring goals hasn’t been an issue for Barnsley, with 21 goals in seven league games so far, with a further nine in two cup outings overall. 

You can follow all the action live on Sunday, with updates via our Twitter @SAFCLadies, or you can make the trip to the Oakwell Academy (S71 1ET), with admission set at £3 for adults and £1 for children for the 3pm kick-off. 

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