Adam Taggart scored twice as the Newcastle Jets moved into outright sixth place on the A-League ladder with a 5-0 romp over the Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
Emile Heskey, Joel Griffiths and Michael Bridges scored the other goals as Newcastle took advantage of an understrength Phoenix to rack up their biggest win in the league.
Taggart went to the outright lead in the Golden Boot race on 13 goals with efforts in the 57th and 77th minutes.
Heskey gave Newcastle a 1-0 lead by halftime when he tapped in at the far post after Josh Mitchell’s flick-on header at the near post from a corner.
It broke a 13-month goal drought for the former England international.
Heskey went close inside 15 seconds of the second half but Griffiths made no mistake from the ensuing corner.
The former A-League Golden Boot winner volleyed home the David Carney corner kick from 12 metres out with a sweet strike.
The Jets were up 3-0 in the 57th minute when Taggart put away a header from close range from a perfectly-placed Zenon Caravella cross.
Taggart made it 4-0 when he dispossessed Michael Boxall close to goal, turned and hit a strike which deflected off the defender and gave goalkeeper Glenn Moss no chance.
Bridges, who replaced Taggart late, hit a stunning right-foot volleyed strike off a Craig Goodwin free kick deep in injury time to make it five and put the Jets ahead of Sydney on goal difference with three rounds to play.
Wellington, who had eight senior players missing though injury or suspension, remain four points off the top six on 28.