April 26, 2019 - 7:32 PM
Western Sydney's A-League season of woe has slumped to a new low after being embarrassed 5-1 on home soil by a ruthless Newcastle.
Jets striker Roy O'Donovan claimed a brace, while Dimi Petratos, Jason Hoffman and Matthew Ridenton also made it onto the scoresheet on Friday night inside the opening hour.
Recruit Mitchell Duke pulled one back 19 seconds into his Wanderers debut, but that was the one highlight for home fans.
The five goals are the most the Wanderers have conceded this season, and stretches their winless run to seven games.
They are one home loss away from equalling the longest winless run on their own turf in A-League history.
It might have been summer, but the wet conditions and lopsided scoreline made it feel like winter for only 7594 fans at ANZ Stadium.
Socceroos representative Josh Risdon aggravated a groin injury and limped off in the second half.
The signs were ominous from the Jets' 18th-minute opener, when a Brendan Hamill turnover resulted in Petratos curling one into the top corner.
From there, it was all one-way traffic, Hoffman making the most of a Daniel Georgevski shot that ricocheted back to his teammate's feet.
Wanderers youngster Marc Tokich was unlucky to have given away a penalty just before halftime, when he was ruled to have brought down Ronald Vargas.
O'Donovan's initial shot was saved by Vedran Janjetovic, but again the ball bounced straight back to the Irishman to bury in the net.
Ridenton continued the humiliation not long after the break when he poked into an empty net after Janjetovic failed to parry a Petratos outswinging cross.
And while he was unfortunate to hand O'Donovan his first goal, Tokich only had himself to blame for the second when he stuck out a leg on Hoffman.
O'Donovan made no mistake with his second chance from the spot.
Duke impressed his new fans, heading from an acute angle moments after coming onto the field.
However, the four-goal margin equals the Wanderers' heaviest defeat of the season.
For the seventh-placed Jets, they move within nine points of sixth-placed Wellington with 10 games remaining.
While the win ended a four-game winless run, Jets coach Ernie Merrick said the performance had been brewing for a number of weeks.
"I think we've been threatening to score a number of goals," Merrick said.
"We've been getting into that front third, we've had more opportunities and shots than any other team in the league and, today, it went well for us.
Wanderers coach Markus Babbel admitted it was the most painful display of the season, and accused his team of straying from the game plan.
"I was thinking we're a step higher than what's happened today," Babbel said.
"To be fair, 10-15 minutes, we follow the game plan. But I don't know why we didn't follow our game plan anymore."