Two goals from Andrew Nabbout secured a 2-1 win for Newcastle Jets over Melbourne City in Friday's A-League clash at Coffs Harbour International Stadium.
The 24-year-old scored twice in the first hour to secure maximum points for the home side and lift them into the top six, though Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers could displace them should they win their respective games in hand.
Bruno Fornaroli halved the deficit from the penalty spot but there was to be no way back for City, who failed to capitalise on second-placed Melbourne Victory's 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC on Thursday and are now without a win in six away matches.
Nabbout opened the scoring after 14 minutes, escaping City's offside trap to latch onto Ma Leilei's clever throughball before rounding goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis and slotting home.
The former Victory man doubled the lead seven minutes after the break, firing a superb low finish into Bouzanis' bottom-right corner from outside the area.
Nabbout's foul on Ivan Franjic in the penalty area allowed Fornaroli to get a goal back from the spot with his 12th top-flight strike, but Michael Valkanis' side - who lost Tim Cahill to injury in the second half - could not find an equaliser and remain six points adrift of Victory in third.