With the finals hopes of the Jets on the line, a huge effort was going to be required if a historic win over Melbourne City was to eventuate.
Heartbreakingly for the Jets, two City goals either side of half-time meant that the home side ran out big winners and virtually extinguished Newcastle’s hopes of finals football.
Thoughts will now turn to next weekend's trip to Adelaide, where nothing but a win will do as the Jets hang on to the slimmest of finals hopes.
Arin Wright had the Jets first sighter on goal with just after ten minutes gone on the clock, but her shot was wide. The American was almost found again after a nice ball over the top from Libby Copus-Brown, but it was just out of her reach.
A pair of saves from Eckerstrom shortly after saw her keep the Jets level, but she couldn’t do anything to stop the home side going ahead in the 32nd minute.
When Tameka Butt was adjudged to have been brought down inside the area and a penalty awarded, Yukari Kinga stepped up and blasted home to open the scoring.
Moments later, City nearly doubled their advantage through Rebekah Stott but her shot crashed off the crossbar and was thankfully cleared by the Jets defence.
With under ten minutes to go before half-time, Melbourne doubled their advantage, from another set piece. This time it was an Elise Kellond-Knight corner which was floated over, and met by the head of Steph Catley to double their advantage.
A switch to striker for Larissa Crummer at the half-time break was a show of intent from Craig Deans, and it looked to have paid off in the 52nd minute when she played through Arin Wright.
Her touch was good and the shot into the bottom corner even better, but to the American’s disbelief the linesman’s flag was up and the goal didn’t stand.
Cortnee Vine was brought on early in the half in an effort to change things up, but when Yukari Kinga fired home her second of the match in an effort which came off the post things looked beyond reach for the Jets.
City looked like they might have had a fourth in the 65th minute when first Jasmyne Spencer, and then Tameka Butt were on the ball inside the penalty area but a brilliant interception from Clare Wheeler ensured the deficit remained three.
In the 69th minute, the sky blue of City did have a fourth. A square-up from Tameka Butt found Hailie Mace in the middle, and there was nothing Eckerstrom could do to deny her fellow American firing home to make it 4-0.