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This is only the team's fourth season together and they have improved year on year, culminating in this season's title. Taplow scored the most league goals in the league, across all divisions (123), and conceded the least number of goals in their division (22). With the nucleus of the team that won the County Cup last year and a few additions coming in to strengthen the squad, it has been a huge team effort to achieve the results and success that they have had this season.
"We started the season a little slowly as some players were still away or had holidays planned which meant our numbers were low for the first few weeks of the season," manager Sam Barwood told Women's Soccer Scene. "We lost two early games against Wantage Ladies and Kingsclere Ladies (who finished second and third respectively) but once all of our players were back and we were at full strength we finished the season undefeated, winning fifteen games and drawing one.
"The turning point of the season was definitely the 6-1 home win over Thatcham Flames, they came to us after beating Kingsclere, who were top of the league at that point, the week before, expecting to beat us also. It was a very strong team performance against a very successful under-18 team who had just moved up into ladies football. This performance was met with praise from the opposition coaching staff and was the platform we needed to push forwards."
Taplow also made the semi finals of both the League and County Cups which meant that they had a large number of league fixtures outstanding in April, when most of the other teams were coming to the end of their season. "We had to focus for each game as we still had to play the teams that were at that point first, second and third in the league before our season ended," recalled Sam. "Week by week, we got the result we needed and on 8th April we went top on goal difference. Three teams were tied at the top on 36 points but our goal difference was superior and we had a number of games in hand.
"We travelled to Kingsclere on 22nd April, knowing that a win in this game would give us the league title mathematically, with two games to spare. Kingsclere also had an opportunity to win the league should they beat us. However, we had the added incentive of overturning the result from earlier in the season when they travelled to us and won. It was a very hot, difficult game as Kingsclere are a strong, physical side but the final result was a 5-1 win and Taplow United Ladies won the league with two games to spare. Cue the champagne moment, as we had it with us, just in case!
"This has been a long, difficult season and we wouldn't have been able to achieve the success that we have without every single player giving everything week in, week out."
Manager Samantha (Sam) Barwood is also club captain and secretary, which allows coach Shaun Gray to focus on coaching and so far this has reaped rewards with hopefully more to come. Jacqueline (Jacqui) Hanson was top goalscorer this season with an impressive 63 goals and she is also the top goalscorer in the entire league, across all divisions.
Taplow United are looking for new players for the 2018-19 season in order to build and strengthen their squad so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in playing for a fun, friendly and committed team.
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