Life without Ricki Herbert began on a dispiriting note for the Wellington Phoenix, whose A-League playoff hopes have virtually disappeared with a 2-1 loss to the Newcastle Jets.
The last-placed Phoenix produced a listless home display for interim coach Chris Greenacre, who had a day to prepare his team following the sudden resignation of six-year mentor Herbert.
His team failed to rise to the occasion in front of a small crowd of 4025 on Wednesday, their lack of cohesion allowing a slick Jets side to dominate and cement their place inside the top six.
The Phoenix remain rooted on 21 points, still six points outside the top six and with little hope of infiltrating the playoffs with just four games remaining.
The visitors broke a long drought in Wellington to climb to fifth on 30 points, although they've played one more game than fringe rivals Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC on 27.
The sudden departure of classy striker Ryan Griffiths to Chinese Super League club Beijing Baxi FC rocked the Jets this week but their front division showed few ill-effects.
They found space easily, particularly in the first half when strikers Adam Taggart and Michael Bridges put them 2-0 ahead.
Taggart, 19, was unmarked 8m out from goal in the 19th minute to side-foot home a Joshua Brillante cross while more poor defending allowed the excellent Bridges to score with a low header off a free kick a minute before halftime.
The second half was a more even affair and former Jet Jeremy Brockie pulled a goal back in the 60th minute after Louis Fenton struck a point-blank shot straight at the face of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.
Brockie rocketed the rebound in for his 13th goal of the season.
The Jets still created the clearer chances from them, the best falling to Craig Goodwin, who cracked a shot straight at goalkeeper Glen Moss, playing his 100th A-League match.
Fenton was at the heart of the Phoenix's best moments but the visitors defended efficiently, led by Regan Taylor.
The result tipped history on its head for Newcastle, who hadn't won in Wellington since their first visit here in 2007, which was followed by eight Phoenix wins and a draw. The Jets also hadn't won any away match since round six this season.
Their concern ahead of Sunday's visit to the Melbourne Victory will be injuries which forced Zenon Caravella and Sam Gallaway from the field.
The Phoenix face an "away" game against the Melbourne Heart in Dunedin on Sunday, seeking to add to their one win in 10 matches in 2013.