It was a grudge match born from Carl Robinson’s decision to walk out on the Newcastle Jets just eight months into the job and join Western Sydney and the new Wanderers boss, together with a Tate Russell scorcher, helped inflict more pain on his old club with a 2-1 win away from home at McDonald Jones Stadium.
In a week where the Jets’ crisis only worsened by having their former owner stripped of his license and the club placed in the control of a consortium of other clubs, they had more salt poured into the club’s gaping wound by the manager who helped turn Newcastle’s fortunes around in the second half of last season.
Western Sydney’s win came courtesy of goals in either half and was much needed after an opening round defeat and their aggressive off-season recruiting policy.
The likes of Bernie Ibini and James Troisi may have attracted more controversy with their moves but it was another new arrival to the Wanderers in Ziggy Gordon who put them ahead after 7 minutes when he nodded home a Troisi corner.
Western Sydney thought they had doubled the lead before half-time but Nicolai Muller’s superb strike was ruled out via VAR with Simon Cox said to have been offside by the barest of margins in the build-up.
They doubled their advantage just before the hour mark though when Muller and Cox combined again to tee up Russell who slammed it home first time with a thunderous strike from the edge of the 18-yard box.
The Jets rallied late and got back into the game courtesy of a Nigel Boogard header from a free-kick in the 73rd minute.
That would spark a raft of late Newcastle attacks but the Wanderers defence was able to stand firm to help seal their first win of the Carl Robinson era.
BOO BOYS TARGET BERNIE
The treatment Carl Robinson received from the Jets fans was mild but they didn’t miss Bernie Ibini. The former Newcastle attacker was so desperate to leave the club he bought out his own contract and his former fans voiced their anger when he came on as a substitute.
ANOTHER YOUNG GUN
The story of the season so far has been the emergence of exciting young Australian players and Western Sydney have unearthed another one in 19 year old Thomas Aquilina who was lively all evening down the left.
YUEL THE MAN
There may not be too much to excite the Newcastle Jets fans at the moment but Valentino Yuel is a contrast to that. The Kenyan born winger loomed as a threat all night and has proved an inspired recruit from Western United.