Substitute Lleyton Brooks scored his first A-League goal, as Melbourne Victory snapped a six-match winless run with a 2-1 away conquest of fellow stragglers Newcastle Jets.
The 20-year-old Brooks slammed the ball home from close range in the 79th minute at McDonald Jones Stadium in just his third A-League appearance and added plenty of energy and menace off the bench.
The win on Saturday drew last-placed Victory level on points with Newcastle, who suffered a club-record seventh straight loss.
The Jets scored first through Apostolos Stamatelopoulos in the 18th minute, with Dylan Ryan levelling for Victory just after halftime to notch his first A-League goal.
A couple of critical decisions went against the Jets, who have played one game more than Victory.
Replays suggested the corner which led to Ryan’s equaliser shouldn’t have been given, with the last touch appearing to come off a Victory player.
Four minutes later, Valentino Yuel had a headed goal overturned after a VAR review revealed Stamatelopoulos was just offside.
Victory threatened early with the excellent Ben Folami prominent.
He had a fierce fifth-minute shot pushed away by Jets’ goalkeeper Lewis Italiano and was wide with another attempt a few seconds later.
Newcastle then created some chances with Yuel blazing over from close range and Ramy Najjarine shooting just wide, before Stamatelopoulos netted.
Yuel’s left foot cross was helped on by Roy O’Donovan, who steered the ball across to Stamatelopoulos, whose close range shot was too powerful for Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton to keep out.
The Jets had opportunities to extend their lead before halftime, but lacked the final touch which has been their downfall in a season in which they have scored multiple goals in only one game.
Luka Prso had a shot well saved by Acton and Newcastle somehow failed to score in a massive goalmouth scramble.
Melbourne had the odd chance and Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio missed with an air swing from close range after being set up by Ben Folami.
Victory levelled in the 48th minute, through Ryan’s powerful far-post header, after the Jets’ Connor O’Toole inadvertently headed a corner into his path.
Brooks was introduced on the hour and his purposeful running caused Newcastle problems.
He settled the game when he passed to Lawrie-Lattanzio and lashed the ball home after he got the ball back from that player.