Two goals in quick succession from Emile Heskey delivered delight for Newcastle Jets as Gary van Egmond's side went top of the A-League with a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory.
The in-form Englishman, who has now scored four goals in four starts for his new club, pounced with close-range finishes in the 52nd and 56th minutes to send the 13,912 crowd at Hunter Stadium into ecstasy.
Heskey’s first came when he latched onto a deflected Josh Brilliante cross to side-foot past debut-making Victory keeper Nathan Coe.
And he struck again three minutes, swivelling to fire past Coe with an instinctive volley after Victory failed to deal with a corner.Heskey departed with a light knock in the dying minutes befire being declared man of the match.
It was cruel for Victory, which dominated the first half without putting away its chances as it come up against an inspired Mark Birighitti in the Jets goal.
But the vsiitor made a fight off it with Soceroos striker Archie Thompson replying with a superb header to pile the nerves on for the home side.
Marco Rojas had an early chance when he forced Jets keeper Mark Birighitti into a save within the first minute, although the officials gave a goal-kick instead of a corner.
In a cagey opening to the first half, it was Victory which looked the more composed and threatening but Newcastle always posed a latent threat and Victory skipper Adrian Leijer needlessly handed the home side an opportunity after 25 minutes, barrelling into Ben Kantarovski to concede a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Leijer earned a yellow card as a result and fortunately for Victory, midfielder Ruben Zadkovich’s free-kick drifted wide with Nathan Coe rooted to the spot.
Victory’s pace down the flanks began to tell and it took a string of stops from Birighitti to deny Ange Postecoglou’s men an opener.
Playing only his third game for the club, the keeper pulled off important saves to thwart Archie Thompson, then left-back Adama Traore could scarcely believe it as he tipped away his rasping drive six minutes from the break.
Rojas also shot wide as Victory took command and Birighitti then foiled Billy Celeski with the Jets being cut open all too easily.
Wellington Phoenix's recruitment under coach Ernie Merrick began with the signing of 22-year-old former Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.