It's been a nightmare start to the 2017/18 A-League season for the Central Coast Mariners, who gave up an early lead to concede five goals.
The 5-1 win is Newcastle's first since January 27th, and their biggest in an F3 Derby ever.
The hardest part to stomach for Coach Paul Okon will be his former charge Roy O'Donovan, who scored Newcastle's first three goals in the space of 30 minutes in the first half. Post match, Paolo was critical of his side's defensive effort.
"One area I thought we were really poor in was winning second balls. Katerovski won everything that dropped down to him. We were stretched: longer balls from Topor-Stanley and Boogard caused us a few issues."
Nonetheless, both coaches agreed the final score didn't reflect the difference between the two sides.
“I don’t think we played poorly tonight," said Okon. "(It was just that) in certain key moments of game we didn’t handle it well, (and that) resulted in goals against us. The third just before half time was the killer.”
The Jets' Ernie Merrick said he still expected the Mariners to finish top six this season, though thought a banner the Mariners took out over the M1 reading "The best road in Newcastle is the one out of it" didn't have its intended effect.
"Roy wasn’t very happy, and I would hate to think a club I was involved with would do something like that. That’s the best motivation you could have given us!"
Down 3-1 at half time, the Mariners managed to wrest back control of the play in the first part of the second half, but were clumsy going forward and the Jets ultimately made them pay with two goals to debutant Champness and Petratos in the final 10 minutes.
90' GOAL NEWCASTLE 1-5: This is officially a thrashing now, and Newcastle is in line for it's biggest ever F3 Derby win. Petratos skips around three defenders after receiving from O'Donovan, floats it into the far left corner.
87' Cross by Pain headed by Bingham, but it's wide. Jets fans are partying it up in the southeast bay...
85' SUBSTITUTE JETS: Katarovski comes off for Cowburn.
p>84': Buhagiar blasts a shot from a metre out over the crossbar. A corner soon after is repelled by the Jets.
81' GOAL NEWCASTLE 1-4: What a debut for Joe Champness! He's just won the game for the Jets after it ricocheted back to him of a Mariners defender while he carried it into the box. It's over now.
Time is running out for the Mariners, though they've had more chances than the Jets this half.
76' SUSTITUTION CENTRAL COAST: Just after another attacking play proves fruitless for the Mariners, Asdrubal and Golec come off, for Bingham and Rose.
71': ATTENDANCE - 12,044. Very healthy overall crowd here tonight, probably a reflection of the anticipation and promises surrounding both these sides' off-seasons. They were treated to a fast-paced contest early, but it looks like it'll be the minority that goes home happy tonight. No addition to the half-time scoreline, Jets lead 3-1.
Good turnout by Jets fans today, about 1500 filling the two eastern bays alone. And boy, have they been rewarded...
61' SUBSTITUTION NEWCASTLE: Brown on for Vargas.
57': Cross by Pain well saved by Duncan. Mariners seeing most of the ball in the first part of this second half, haven't been able to put it on the scoreboard though.
53': Asdrubal can't get his boot to a cross by Pain after they quickly take a free kick. Mariners are creating chances now, though.
50' OFFSIDE: Nabbout gets one pass Glover but he was too far ahead.
48': Second half underway. Corner from Hiariej headed by Golec, misses.
HALF TIME - NEWCASTLE 3, lead CENTRAL COAST 1:
It's going to take something nearing a miracle for the Mariners to win, after conceding three goals in their first half of the season, all of them to their former teammate Roy O'Donovan.
He scored in the 8th, 28th and 38th minutes, in what was the 3rd fastest hat trick in A-League history.
It was all going well after 5 minutes, when a lucky goal to Spanish recruit Asdrubal gave the home side the lead, but gradually the Jets got the upper hand through a lacklustre Mariners defence and Andrew Nabbout, who was electric in setting up several chances, including two of O'Donovan's goals.
O'Donovan's first came through a much disputed penalty.
38': 1-3 GOAL JETS - This Nabbout to O'Donovan thing is working brilliantly for Newcastle. Nabbout crosses from near the western stand and the former Mariner scores his THIRD goal after heading a ball (which the two Mariners' defenders didn't attack) to the top right hand corner. Oh dear...
34': OFFSIDE call and it stops a Jets goal - Nabbout had headed a cross to O'Donavon and he got it over the line (both were offside). Jets have been making a mockery of Mariners' defence since about the 10th minute.
28': 1-2 GOAL JETS - Petratos cross reaches Nabbout in the inner rectangle, who squares it up to O'Donovan. The former Mariner chips in his second from point blank range, with Glover out of position. If the scores stay the same now the Jets will win their first game since January 27.
22': How did that not go in? Great penalty kick by Nabbout sets up Katarovski. His header hits the post, follow-up shot by Boogard deflected away, Glover saves third attempt.
18': Asdrubal fires to the left corner, saved by Duncan, then deflects follow-up attack by Appiah. Asdrubal heads subsequent corner, misses to the near side.
15': Well after talking the talk all pre-season and saying they'd be better than last time around, both sides have started the F3 Derby with some energy. We've had two goals and four (Mariners) corner kicks, while the Jets have been aggressive in trying to dispossessed the Central Coast players.
8': 1 -1 GOAL JETS - Former Mariner Roy O'Donovan scores from 11m after a dubious penalty against Baro.
6': Vargas misses left foot shot from outside the box, Jets' first real chance. Exhilirating start to this F3 Derby!
5': 1-0 GOAL MARINERS! Asdrubal scores after a Hiariej corner ricochets of his right thigh! We'll take it, first goal of the year to the Mariners.
3': Brama passes to Appiah who crosses but it's cut off by Newcastle defence. Jets keeper Duncan saves the Corner.
1': The F3 derby is underway, Katarovski gives away free kick to Asdrubal in 14 seconds.
Asdrubal sets it up, Baro tries to head to top right hand corner of the net, just over the crossbar!
Eight minutes to kick off: Partly Cloudy and 18 here at CCS, perfect conditions for playing.
p>9AM: A-League football returns to the Central Coast today, with the Mariners hosting the Jets in an F3 Derby to kick off each side's 2017/18 campaigns.
Last time these sides met at this same location in April, it was our boys that came home with the win 2-0, in a match that simultaneously saved them from the wooden spoon and gave it to Newcastle. Suffice to say, the Jets will be looking to make a statement that they're a much more competitive side this season and in this game.
Here's a bit of traffic advice if you're heading in today, courtesy of LiveTrafficNSW.
The Mariners have talked it up in the lead up to the Derby, coach Paul Okon saying they couldn't be more prepared and the club even taking a dig at all the Hunter fans travelling down for this game.
Check back with this page for live updates of the match, and in the meantime, have a listen to what former Skipper and now head of football Nick Montgomery had to say to Sarah and Paddy yesterday...