The Newcastle Jets broke their duck and moved into the A-League top six with a nervewracking 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.
The knives had been out for coach Gary van Egmond after the Jets opened the season with a loss and three draws to be battling in eighth place.
But goals either side of half-time to Kew Jaliens (40th) and Adam Taggart (53rd) were enough to sink the Reds, who pulled a goal back through Fabio Ferreira (71st) and take the spotlight off van Egmond at least for now.
The Jets led 2-0 after 57 minutes against the Mariners the week before only to give up two goals and share the points.
A repeat was on the cards when Ferreira got on the end of Neumann cross at the back post.
The Jets survived two late scares - one a deflected shot from Neumann which somehow found Mark Biriighitti's right hand - to hang on in a gripping final five minutes.
The Reds finished the match with 10 men after Nigel Boogaard was given a straight red card for a challenge from behind on substitute Emile Heskey in the final minute.
The win doubled the Jets' points tally and moved them above Wellington and Adelaide into sixth place.
Newcastle went to the break in front for the first time this season after an opportunistic goal to Dutch defender Jaliens in the 40th minute, his first for the club.
In truth, they could easily have been 3-0 up if not for some desperate goal-line defence from the Tarek Elrich and Boogaard.
As expected the home side had the better of possession but lacked rhythm and were out-muscled, especially in midfield.
The Jets picked their moments to press and had joy picking off the Reds' passes as they played out from the back.
Van Egmond resisted the temptation to rush Heskey straight in to the starting side and stuck with the XI that shared the points in a 2-all draw with the Mariners.
Elrich made his 150th A-League appearance - 134 of those in Newcastle - in a unchanged Adelaide line-up which also featured Newcastle-born defender Boogaard.
It was the first trip back to Adelaide for Nathan Burns since the former Hindmarsh hero departed for Greece in January 2008.
He looked set mark his return with a goal in the 10th minute only to be denied by desperate lunge from Elrich.
Josh Brillante did well to win a scrap on the right edge of the goal mouth and hook a pass to Burns. The 25-year-old was about to make contact from point-blank range when Elrich slid in from the left and made a goal-saving block.
Mark Birighitti, who spent four years in Adelaide, was also back on familiar territory and produced a brilliant reflex save to parry a rising shot from Jeronimo Neumann in the 15th minute.
The visitors continued to threaten.
Eugene Galekovic, who was surprisingly left out of the Socceroos squad to take on Costa Rica on Tuesday, was caught in no-mans land in the 20th minute and had Boogaard to thank for saving the day.
A cross came in from the right and all Adam Taggart had to do was knock it a metre to score but Boogaard slid in and cleared it off the line.
The frustration started to show on the visitors. Jaliens, Connor Chapman and Ruben Zadkovich were booked, and Andrew Hoole and the Reds' Spanish playmaker came together.
Finally the Jets' pressure took its toll five minute short of half-time.
Nathan Burns swung in a corner from the right to Scott Neville at the back post. His angled header was cleared off the line by Michael Zullo and fell for Jaliens to slot home.
In a bid to restore parity in midfielder, Reds coach Josep Gambau introduced Steve Lustica for Osama Malik at half-time to no avail.
The second half was seven minutes old when Brillante dispossessed Lustica and fed Hoole. The 20-year-old burst into the box and threaded a pass with the outside of his right foot for Taggart to lift over Galekovic.