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Promotion joy for Coventry
 Women's Football News 5 May 2011
A 1-0 victory at Derby County on Tuesday night saw Coventry City clinch promotion to the National Division of the Premier League for the first time.
Just one year after returning to the Premier League as Midland Combination Champions, Coventry City have finished as runners-up to Aston Villa in the Northern Division, with long time leaders Manchester City missing out as a result.
Paul Cudby's side secured the second automatic promotion spot thanks to a 1-0 victory away at Derby County, their seventh consecutive league victory and Chairman David Singleton praised the work Cudby and his back room staff have done in transforming the club into one of the best in the country.
"Tonight we were promoted to the National Premiership at the first real attempt. We did it through the determination of an incredible team," said Singleton.
"Three seasons ago we recruited a relatively unknown head coach to complete our 'Think Premiership' campaign and lead us back to the Northern Premiership.
"Paul Cudby promised, when he did that a year after settling in Midlands Combination he would lead us to back to back promotions at the 2010 CCFC end of season awards dinner and he sloped off and hatched a plan with our Director of Football Tom Stack and his team to deliver his commitment.
"For the City of Coventry and Coventry City, this is a huge deal. It means that in the year we host the FA Women's Cup Final for the first time and Olympic ladies football, they can proudly say we have one of the top sides in the country playing in the National Premiership."
The Sky Blues arrived at Borrowash Victoria to face Derby knowing a victory will secure second place in the table, but Cudby was without leading scorer Kirsty Robson and the club's influential winger Jade Formaston.
However, Coventry made a bright start and were ahead in the 16th minute when Karen Clough found herself unmarked in the Derby penalty area and she made no mistake from ten yards out.
The visitors almost doubled their lead when substitute Cherelle Archibald was played through on goal but her first time effort was superbly saved by Jenny Simpson in the Derby goal.
Derby rarely threatened Sue Wood in the Coventry goal with defenders Natasha Lynch and Sinead Butler both producing fine performances, but with time ticking away, the nerves on the faces of a large Coventry support was clear.
Helen Dermody fired a free kick over the bar and in stoppage time the hosts came close direct from a corner but Cudby's side held on which signaled scenes of joy on the Coventry bench as they celebrated their second successive promotion.
Singleton added: "Tonight's game and finale to the season was the stuff dreams are made of. We have worked for ten years to get this far but no-one thought we would have had back to back promotions.
"The resilience of our players, the determination of the coaching staff and the unbelievable effort of the backroom team have made this happen and I am so very proud of them all."

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