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Women's Football News
Rotherham United returned to the FA Women's Premier League after a two season absence when they beat Newcastle United 2-0 in the Northern Division play-off final at Farsley Celtic.
Rotherham went ahead following a switch of play from Carla Baxby who found Katie Davison on the right. She the Newcastle full back and delivered a first time cross that was met sweetly and calmly by Beth Smith, who curled her right foot shot, leaving the keeper no chance.
Smith has found goals coming her way in the closing games of the Midland Combination season and also in the play-offs. She scored Rotherham's equaliser in the previous Sunday's 3-1 play-off semi win over Sheffield Wednesday with whom she started the season.
A 1-0 interval lead kicking against the win gave Rotherham every confidence for the second half and they sealed victory following a long goal kick from Charlie Whiteley which was met by Davison who sweetly lobbed the Newcastle's keeper.
Nat Shaw missed a late chance to make it three, almost echoing her miss in the final minute against Wednesday a week earlier.
Rotherham manager Paul Durrands commented: "We had to get promotion the hard way via the play offs but we thoroughly deserved our reward having been better, on the day, than Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United in our semi final and final respectively.
"Having been top of the Midland Combination for just about the whole season, except for the last three weeks, we could have capitulated in the play-off as we could have felt sorry for ourselves, but I asked my players if they were going to "bottle it" or show me "character" and they showed me that they have the latter in abundance.
"I was so proud of my team on Sunday and the effort they gave me cannot be underestimated, as it was immense.
"I have no intention picking out any individuals from the game as they were all "heroes" to me.
"We are all looking forward to next season in the National League, as we know that's where we should be and I intend keeping them there."
In the two seasons Rotherham were in the Premier League they lost all four games against Newcastle who triumphed 6-3 and 6-0 on their visits to South Yorkshire, while it was 3-1 and 12-0 in the two games up in the North East.
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