Carl Robinson’s return to Newcastle went as planned as Western Sydney defeated the Jets 2-1 – and for the first time in nine A-League games.
The former Jets coach returned to McDonald Jones Stadium for the first time as manager of the Wanderers and walked away with his first points in front of a hostile home crowd.
It follows a tumultuous week for the Jets after Chinese owner Martin Lee was stripped of his licence by Football Australia.
The Jets were then saved by a consortium of A-League investors who have taken control of the club while they begin a search for a new owner.
Adding more salt to the wounds of Jets fans, Friday night’s result marked the first time they have started an A-League season with back-to-back defeats.
Along with Robinson, twice-capped Socceroo Bernie Ibini also made his return to Newcastle after a messy exit last year and was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd when he ran on in the 68th minute.
The crowd then bellowed at his every touch.
However, the two got the last laugh as the Wanderers netted two goals despite an impressive bout of dominance that did not convert into points for the Jets until late.
Skipper Nigel Boogaard got a faint touch on a set piece from a free kick to head in the Jets’ first goal of the night while trailing 2-0, setting up a fast finish.
However, missed chances early were to blame for their second-straight loss.
The Jets dominating early in the first half but could not convert their shots into goals as Irish striker Roy O’Donovan missed two big chances to score.
The Wanderers made them pay twice at the other end with Ziggy Gordon heading in the first goal from short range from a James Troisi corner after seven minutes.
A brilliant shot from Nicolai Muller from outside the box sunk into the net after 25 minutes but was pulled back by the VAR. Replays showed striker Simon Cox was a narrowly offside in the lead up.
The result was sealed for the Jets with a powerful shot from Tate Donovan, who slotted in a goal off a brilliant pass from dominant forward Simon Cox in the 57th minute.
The Jets now face Macarthur FC in Newcastle next Sunday, while the Wanderers face archrivals Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium next Saturday.