Proceedings started with an F/A-18 flyover to commemorate the Club’s annual RAAF Round and it was the start of a dramatic affair between two bitter rivals.
Despite the occasion the weather wasn’t kind in the Hunter Valley, with heavy downpours in the lead up to kick-off creating difficult conditions for both sides.
It was a cagey opening 15 minutes as the Mariners – under new coach, Alen Stajcic – looked to bounce back from a tough loss at the hands of Wellington seven days earlier.
There were few clear-cut chances for either side, but Dimi Petratos looked menacing early on while Jair continued his strong form as he looked to take on defenders and cause havoc in the final third.
Daniel Georgievski had the crowd on their feet in the 25th minute as he laid on a sharp cross for a diving Roy O’Donovan, but it just evaded the bustling striker.
From there, the chances came in quick succession as Cowburn and Ridenton struck strongly from outside the area, while Dimi was dispossessed when goal-bound.
Steven Ugarkovic created a golden chance with a willing, driving run into the penalty area just beyond the half-hour mark – his stinging shot forcing a strong save from Ben Kennedy.
Petratos would hit the upright with a low, sliding strike shortly after, with Jair unable to put the follow up past a block from Sam Graham.
The first half would end all square, with the Jets unable to convert their myriad of chances while the visitors were yet to register a shot on goal.
Despite their overall dominance the Jets would be the first to concede as the Mariners netted a goal through Murray against the run of play.
Matt Millar played a hand in their first and would be part of the build up for the visitor’s second, cutting back from the byline to allow Karacan to double the Mariners lead.
The Mariners again proved ruthless in front of goal as Connor Pain scored just minutes later to see the score line move to 3-0.
The Jets were down but certainly not out as they continued to press on goal, dominating territory and possession.
Roy O’Donovan would get the home side on the board, thanks to a low, curling cross from Lachlan Jackson, allowing the the simplest of tap-ins on the goal line.
The tide was clearly turning as the Jets began to press the Mariners, with Ronny Vargas setting up a grandstand finish with a goal in the 82nd minute. It’s one that the Venezuelan knew little about, as a Kennedy parry hit his legs at point blank before trickling over the goal line.
Following the end of regulation time drama ensued, with the Jets awarded a penalty after O’Donovan was brought down in the area. Kennedy stopped his penalty before Daniel Georgievski collected the rebound and scored – or so the home crowd thought.
On review the VAR deemed both sides had encroached into the penalty area, thus a re-take was given to O’Donovan.
Unfortunately for the Jets, Kennedy was up to task once more, stopping O’Donovan for a second time – securing the Mariners first win in Newcastle since 2012.