Rotherham United Women retain #HerGameToo Shield

Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday, HerGameToo Shield
Photo: Julian Barker

Rotherham United Women’s second edition of their #HerGameToo Shield fixture saw them retain the trophy with a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

The Sunday evening game at Rotherham United’s AESSEAL New York Stadium attracted a crowd of 1,502, an increase of a third on last year’s attendance when 1,124 witnessed Rotherham edging home via a penalty shoot out against Mansfield Town.

Rotherham made the perfect start with Alesha Gale putting them ahead inside three minutes and the lead was doubled shortly before the midway point in the first half by Delia Hurdiss. Both teams made liberal use of substitutes in the second half.

Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday HerGameToo Shield
Photo: Julian Barker

Both teams have enjoyed respectable seasons in their respective Leagues. Rotherham finished fourth in the East Midlands League Premier Division and have the chance to lift further silverware when they meet Kettering Town at Eagle Valley (home of Arnold Eagles) on Sunday 26th May.

Wednesday finished third in the Sheffield & Hallam League Premier Division and subject to approval by the Women’s FA Board, will be hoping to step up to Regional League (tier 6) later this month.

Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday, HerGameToo Shield
Sheffield Wednesday Ladies. (Photo: Julian Barker)

The respective players of the game for both teams were Alesha Gale (Rotherham) and Kirsty Tonner (Wednesday goalkeeper).

The game completed a notable first for women’s football in South Yorkshire as it ensured that all five professional men’s clubs in the County hosted a women’s fixture in the same season.

Sheffield United have played all of their Barclays Women’s Championship games at Bramall Lane, while Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium hosted the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA Senior Women’s Cup final at the end of April when Huddersfield Town retained the trophy with a stoppage time goal giving them a 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers Belles.

Belles played four home games at the Eco-Power Stadium and the trio of fixtures there in March and April attracted some very encouraging crowds, the last of which was a season’s best 1,124 against FC United of Manchester.

Meanwhile, Barnsley FC Women, who clinched the North East League Premier Division title (and promotion to the FA Women’s National League) at the weekend, are set to be presented with the trophy at Oakwell when they complete their League fixtures against Wakefield on Wednesday (15 May). That will be the third time they have played inside the stadium at Oakwell, the adjacent Academy pitches at the ground having hosted most of their home games this season. Barnsley can cap an already memorable season by completing the double when they face Sunderland AFC Under-23s in the League Cup Final at Norton & Stockton on Sunday.

For good measure, several miles over the County border in Derbyshire, Chesterfield’s SMH Stadium recently hosted their Women’s team fixture.

By Julian Barker

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