Danielle Carter aims to knock Arsenal Women out of the FA Cup

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It was a piece of individual brilliance from Danielle Carter that won Arsenal Women their 14th FA Cup in 2016.

Her first touch to control Casey Stoney’s lofted pass, her trickery to dribble past Hannah Blundell and her composure to curl a shot into the top corner past Hedvig Lindahl gave the Gunners a 1-0 victory over Chelsea and their first trophy in two years.

They have not won the competition since and Carter, now of Brighton, is aiming to keep it that way when she comes up against her former club in the semi-finals on Sunday.

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‘To win the FA Cup with Arsenal, my childhood team, at Wembley, was what dreams are made of,’ Carter tells Sportsmail. ‘Sentiment aside, I now wear this badge. I now want this team to do as well as possible.

‘We want to go to Wembley, we want that day out, we want to make history.’

Carter, 28, joined Arsenal at the age of 16 after progressing through the ranks at Leyton Orient but after the forward helped the Gunners win three WSL titles, four FA Cups and five Continental Cups during 11 years, she ruptured her ACL in the final game of the 2017-18 season and again a year later.

In all she spent two seasons on the sidelines doing rehab.

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Her contract expired and she left Arsenal in July 2020.

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‘It wasn’t my decision (to leave), it wasn’t my choice,’ Carter says.

‘I would have wanted my ending at the club, where I’d been for so many years, to have been different.

‘But the two injuries played a deciding role in them offering or not offering a contract. It was out of my hands. I would have wanted a different ending but it’s football, it’s life.’

Carter spent a season with Reading before joining Brighton this summer. The club have also recently moved into a new £8.5million training facility.

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‘When I spoke with manager Hope Powell, saw the facilities and heard their vision and their ambition, that is what swayed me in wanting to come and be a part of this project.

‘I don’t think of the fee as pressure, I just see it as the club and the manager really wanted me. I want to give 110 per cent to repay that trust. It’s nice to feel wanted and I now need to repay that with my performances.

‘I’m enjoying my football again. After so long out, it was finding that love for the game again and I think I’m on that journey.’

Last year’s FA Cup has been carried over to this season due to postponements caused by Covid-19. The other semi sees holders Manchester City face Chelsea.

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Arsenal have won all their league games this season and are favourites to make December’s final at Wembley.

But it was Brighton who ended Chelsea’s 33-game unbeaten run in the WSL earlier this year and Carter is desperate for her side to cause another upset by making their first FA Cup final.

‘It would mean the world to me,’ she says. ‘It is probably the biggest game in the history of Brighton Women.’

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