Newcastle were made to lament some horror finishing and brilliant goalkeeping as their barren A-League run continued with a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix in Wellington.
The last-placed Jets did enough to warrant three points at Sky Stadium on Friday but instead had to endure a fourth straight defeat after conceding second-half goals to Jaushua Sotirio and Ulises Davila.
The real Wellington hero was goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who mustered three classy late saves to safeguard his team's seventh win.
Abdiel Arroyo bisected the Wellington scores but the Panama international's composed finish was a rare sight for the visitors, who were particularly wasteful in the first half.
Their dominance of the first 45 minutes resulted in 12 shots, nine of them inside the box, but only one was on target.
Jason Hoffman butchered a gift on the half-hour, skying his shot when given time and space in the centre of the box after a scything run and dream pass from Matthew Millar.
A contender for miss of the season, it summed up a luckless night which extends Newcastle's winless run to eight games.
They also lost central defender Lachlan Jackson to what appeared a serious knee injury midway through the first spell.
Wellington cemented fourth place, capitalising on two of their few opportunities through the brilliance of Mexican schemer Davila.
Substitute Sotirio scored two minutes after entering in the 51st minute, side-footing home Davila's pinpoint through ball.
Davila's 10th goal of the season capped a 16-minute burst of scoring, the ball falling kindly after Alex Rufer's long-range shot was deflected.
Arroyo's goal also came from a deflected Dimitri Petratos shot.
They pushed hard for a late equaliser, coming closest when captain Nigel Boogard's close-range header forced a reaction save from Marinovic, who was even better when his thrust-out left leg denied a close-range shot.
Captain Boogard's impact in central defence following a 10-week injury rehabilitation was obvious, overseeing a composed defensive display.
After rebounding from last week's loss to Brisbane, a bye will be welcomed from a Wellington side whose intensity and passing game were off-key.
Australian Associated Press