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Women's Football News
The team is managed by Thomas Reeves and Ronnie Joyelx and captain is Philippa Thomas, one of four players remaining from their first season, six years ago. The other three players left from that original season are Sara Wrangham, Ann Gilfillan and Kelly McArthur.
"At the start of the season, our two ladies teams combined due to a lot of players heading off to university in the younger team and a lot of players retiring from the experienced team," Philippa Thomas told Women's Soccer Scene.
"Therefore we had a whole new team with a mix of ages from 17-36, and a lot of experience mixed with a lot of young talent.
"The first few games of the season went really well, picking up the wins and scoring lots of goals, but then we met Gateshead Rutherford for the first time. In this game we were 4-0 down, but were able to turn it around and win 6-5, however this game showed the team they couldn't become complacent and think they are going to win every game comfortably."
From this game, the season went from strength to strength and the team were able to clinch the title with a game to spare. The team have one game left in the league on 5th May and are currently undefeated, having only dropped two points all season. In the league they have scored 179 goals, conceded 17, kept 8 clean sheets, with three players scoring over 20 goals and two players scoring in excess of 50.
The team reached the final of the League Cup where they came up against Gateshead Rutherford in what was a great game of competitive football. The game itself was close and went right to the wire with Darlington coming out on top, winning 2-0.
"There are numerous players that have grown over the season," added Philippa. Bella Saunderson-Darkes, who has been converted to a centre back and played a key role in every game she has played. Tia Creighton, who has shown a lot of confidence on the ball in defence and isn't afraid to take people on. Then you have the experienced players who have played consistently all season; Sara Wrangham moving from right midfield to the centre and built a great footballing partnership with myself, Lottie Middleton who only joined the team this season but has showed real maturity in her game and her left foot is a real asset to the team. And not forgetting our two strikers who have scored 50+ each this season, Ella Hodgson and Beth Carwardine.
"Ella's main point of attack is her pace and scoring goals from tight angles, whereas Beth is the number 10 and supports Ella really well and gets a lot of goals from long range efforts.
"We have a lot of support that travel with us to most games, mainly parents of the younger players. However we also have two mascots - Thea (7 months) and Theo (3 months) who are children of two players and get looked after by Cindy on the sidelines while they play. Cindy is the parent of our captain Philippa and although she is 27 years old, Cindy hasn't missed a game in six seasons."
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