The Newcastle Jets have ended their long wait for a win in the F3 derby, beating the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the A-League on Sunday.
A second-half goal from Steven Ugarkovic was all the Jets needed to win a mostly poor encounter in Gosford.
Ugarkovic’s goal gave the Jets a first win in 10 matches against the Mariners, ending a run dating back to October 2012.
With it, Scott Miller’s men climbed to within four points of sixth-placed Sydney FC, while the struggling Mariners are now without a clean sheet in 23 league matches.
The Mariners’ Luis Garcia, on his return from injury, suffered an early scare when he clutched at his hamstring in the opening stages.
He had the best of the early chances, heading a Mitch Austin free-kick wide after rising unmarked in the area.
Garcia was at the centre of the Mariners’ best attacking play and the former Liverpool star curled an effort just wide from 25 yards after combining with Josh Bingham.
That was before Morten Nordstrand went close to breaking the deadlock for the Jets just before half-time.
Leonardo played the Dane in behind and his powerful effort was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Paul Izzo.
A dull second half came to life with the game’s opening goal in the 57th minute.
A fine team move led to an error from Josh Rose, who failed to clear Nordstrand’s pass and saw Ugarkovic place a finish past Izzo for his first Newcastle goal.
The Mariners pushed desperately for a late equaliser but were unable to find it as the Jets held on.