APOSTOLOS Stamatelopoulos scored a double and moved into the conversation for the A-League golden boot as the Newcastle Jets stunned competition leaders Wellington Phoenix 3-0 at Sky Stadium on Saturday night.
In his return from a hamstring injury, Stamatelopoulos scored the Jets' first and third goals to take his tally to six in six games, one behind Melbourne Victory sharp-shooter Bruno Fornaroli.
He was on the spot to open the scoring in the fourth minute and converted from the penalty spot in the 47th.
Claytton Taylor was the other goal-scorer, slotting home in the 43rd minute.
As well as score, Taylor set up the opener, bursting down the left and playing the ball to Stamatelopoulos.
The 19-year-old also won the penalty with a driving run from midfield into the box where he was sandwiched.
It was the second win of the season for the Jets and moved them eight points and eighth spot.
It was also their second clean sheet.
Keeper Ryan Scott had plenty to do, despite the scoreline, and was brilliant.
Central defenders Mark Natta and Phil Cancar were desperate and resolute as were midfield-screeners Brandon O'Neill and Kosta Grozos.
In 25 previous trips across the ditch, the Jets had won just five times.
"The win will be a big boost for us," Stamatelopoulos said. "Last week wasn't a bad performance. The first half, we played well but didn't finish. That is our key.
"We are going to create chances, it is about finishing. Then when we are on top, controlling the game. I think we did that well today."
On his goals, Stamatelopoulos said: "It is down to my teammates putting the ball into the box. I'm a centre forward, it is my job to put the ball into the back of the net. The more balls that are coming in there from combination play, from changing sides, the more chance I will have to score. Good delivery."
As expected, Rob Stanton made two changes.
Stamatelopoulos returned to lead the attack in place of rookie Just Vidic.
Reno Piscopo also came in for his first start after a long lay-off with a calf injury and lined up alongside Stamatelopoulos up front.
He added a new dimension with his trickery on the ball and ability to get between the lines.
The Phoenix made one change from the 1-0 win over Western United with gun striker Oskar Zwanda installed in the No.9 spot in place of David Ball.
The Jets missed Stamatelopoulos' predator instincts in the 2-0 loss to Melbourne City and the in-form striker took just four minutes to put the visitors ahead.
Lucas Mauragis produced a piercing pass to release Clayton Taylor down the left. The teenager drove into the box and showed strength to cut inside and the play a ball across the goal for Stamatelopoulos.
As he has done all season, the striker produced a composed finish, hitting a shot on the turn in off the right post.
The goals kicked the home side into gear.
Nick Pennington and Kosta Barbarouses forced two reflex saves from Scott .
Thomas Aquilina made a crucial block from a goalmouth scramble in the 25th minute as the Jets continued to play with desperation.
Piscopo was fouled three times in the opening 25 minutes but the first yellow card of the game went to Jets defender Phil Cancar for a late challenge on Bozhidar Kraev on the half hour.
After absorbing pressure midway through the half, the Jets finished the opening 45 minutes the stronger.
They doubled the advantage just before the break through Taylor.
Dane Ingham curled a cross into the danger zone. Defender Finn Surman failed to head clear and the ball struck the feet of keeper Alex Paulsen.
Taylor reacted quickest, slotting the ball into the corner for 2-0.
The Jets led Western Sydney 2-0 at half-time and ended up sharing the points.
There was no second-half let-up this time.
A minute into the second half, Taylor went on a driving run into the box and was sandwiched by Surman and Scott Wooton.
Stamatelopoulos made no mistake from the spot, smashing the ball into the roof for 3-0.
It wasn't one-way traffic. Phoenix through everything at the visitors.
Scott made a great save to deny Pennington in the 57th minute.
Any hope the home side had a of a miracle recovery disappeared when Tim Payne hit the right post in the 68th minute after beautiful lead-up play.
From there the Jets controlled the game. At one point they string 30 passes together.