Maitland coach Keelan Hamilton was impressed with the performance of rising talent Taleah Mountford as the Magpies continued to state their top-four credentials with a 2-0 win over third-placed Warners Bay on Saturday.
It was the first time the Newcastle Herald Women's Premier League newcomers had beaten a top-three side and the Magpies consolidated fourth position with the important victory.
Mountford is one of a number of talented teenagers who played for Thornton last year before Maitland took over the Redbacks' WPL licence.
Normally an attacking player, the 18-year-old was used at right fullback as a last-minute replacement for Emily Wicks, who became unavailable due to family reasons.
Mountford did a good job defensively and got forward to launch the cross into the box which resulted in Maitland's second goal.
"I trusted Taleah and she was fantastic for a young person who played out of position," Hamilton said.
"She's just growing in confidence and belief in her football and I'm really proud of our group and of her because we've had a lot of setbacks with injury but we're a club that I believe has not complained about it once. We just keep turning up week after week and we're improving.
"I'm someone who likes to make sure we have a squad and we're not just relying on one or two people."
**Adamstown hold a seven-point lead in the race for the Herald WPL reserve-grade premiership at the season midpoint. Rosebud are unbeaten on 31 points after 11 outings. Magic are second with 24 and Olympic and Warners Bay both have 22 points, 12 clear of Maitland.
Azzurri have scored a whopping 71 goals and only dropped points in one game to be leading the 17s standings with 30 points, four ahead of Olympic (26). Cassie Corder has scored 18 goals for Azzurri.
In 15s, only two points separate the top three sides. Olympic lead on 30 points and Azzurri and Adamstown both have 28. Maitland are fourth with 16.
Rosebud are unbeaten on 33 at the top of the 13s standings. Magic (21) are second, Maitland (19) third and Azzurri (15) fourth.
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