The Central Coast Mariners have bounced back from a difficult week to record a morale-boosting 2-1 win over derby rivals Newcastle Jets in Tamworth on Saturday afternoon.
The Mariners came from a goal down to take the preseason friendly thanks to a brilliant strike from new signing Connor Pain.
It was an ideal response to Monday's sacking of coach Tony Walmsley after a disappointing reign at the Gosford outfit.
Despite trailing 1-0, the Mariners struck either side of the break to snatch a timely win.
The Jets took the lead through Devante Clut, with the new signing getting on the end of a precision cross and flicking it in from close range.
Newcastle's lead lasted just three minutes as a Mariners new boy found the net again.
Roy O'Donovan's shot that looked destined for goal but what followed was a goal-mouth scramble, with Blake Powell getting enough on the ball to poke it over the line.
Pain then struck what proved to be the winner five minutes after the break, a superb side-foot effort from just outside the box proving too much for Jets gloveman Jack Duncan to keep out.
The Jets pushed hard in the final moments with Andy Brennan almost snatching a draw with a headed chance but the Mariners held on for an important win for the squad’s morale.
Newcastle Jets: Jack DUNCAN (GK), Nick COWBURN, Lachlan JACKSON (68’ Brennan), Daniel MULLEN, Jason HOFFMAN, Mateo POLJAK (c) (24’ Kantarovski), Steven UGARKOVIC, Andrew HOOLE, Andrew NABBOUT, Devante CLUT, Wayne BROWN
Central Coast Mariners: Paul IZZO (GK) (60’ Necevski), Ryan PETERSON, Nick MONTGOMERY (C), Jacques FATY (Ascroft 70’), Adam BERRY, Mickey NEILL, Jake McGING, Blake POWELL (60’ McDonald), Fabio FERREIRA (17’ Appiah), Roy O’DONOVAN, Connor PAIN