Women’s football: Rotherham and Dearne downed

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Rotherham United Ladies drew the short straw when they were paired at home to Sheffield FC Ladies in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup determining round draw, losing 5-1, writes Julian Barker.

Sheffield, the current holders of the trophy, are arguably the top women’s winter league side in England and they duly fulfilled their favourites tag in Sunday’s tie at Roundwood.

However, Rotherham gave everything they had and thanks to a top quality goalkeeping display from Charlie Whiteley, the gulf between the two teams was kept to a very respectable margin for much of the game.

It took Sheffield until the half hour to break the deadlock, Ellie Gilliatt scoring from out on the left. Former Rotherham striker Suzanne Davies doubled the advantage from a penalty for 2-0 at the interval.

Jodie Michalska increased the lead just past the hour, but Rotherham replied immediately with Amy Pollock heading over Claire Wallhead. Sheffield’s fourth came from another former Rotherham player in Lynn Goodman with 5 minutes left, while Michalska completed the scoring in injury time.

The competition now splits into the Cup “proper” for the winners and a “Plate” competition for the initial set of losers.

Rotherham meet Mansfield Town at Roundwood tonight and then visit Solihull on Sunday.

* Dearne & District began their North East Women’s Regional League Southern Division campaign with a 5-1 defeat at Malet Lambert, all the goals coming in the first half. The goalless second half proved a moral victory for Dearne (Trudi Race netted) who were reduced to below a full 11 due to injury.

Dearne visit Ossett Albion this Sunday. Ossett, who just avoided relegation last season, and Dearne’s first home game is against Sheffield Wednesday, who were the day’s other 7-0 winners (over Courts City), on Sunday, September 14.

Mexborough Athletic begin their second season in Sheffield & Hallam Women’s County Football League Division Two with a visit to Socrates on Sunday.

Photos by Julian Barker:

Rotherham’s Grace Birchall gets in a shot vs Sheffield

l to r - Jaydene Venus, Sophie Barker (ex-Rotherham) & Kat Clark