The ball had ricocheted off an apologetic Chris Beath in the build-up, and Rhyan Grant was offside as the ball was played in, but not even the VAR would save them now.

Four years previous – almost to the day – Broxham had scored the third in a 3-0 Grand Final rout. Tonight his fate was reversed, in cruelly poetic fashion.

Half the fans hadn’t even made it to their seats at Jubilee Stadium when it began.

Lawrence Thomas – normally so authoritative in his area – made a lame attempt to claim a Brandon O’Neill corner, letting Aaron Calver bundle to ball over the line from point-blank range.

What a time to concede your first goal from a corner all season.

It only got worse for the Victory. A sensational Alex Brosque half-volley and Broxham’s aforementioned friendly fire followed before the break.

Adam Le Fondre added a tidy brace in the second half, one from the penalty spot, before Milos Ninkovic was left all alone at the back post to apply a thick layer of icing to the scoreline.

Not even a nonchalant Ola Toivonen consolation goal could lift the spirits of the travelling faithful, who will have to ruminate over the loss in Sydney overnight – the late kickoff time denying them the mercy of a same-day flight home.

Sydney, meanwhile, have peaked at precisely the right time. Can their ruthless counter-attack propel them to glory next week in Perth?