Twenty minutes into Newcastle's 8-2 thrashing of Central Coast, their striker snapped a personal goal drought stretching back to the start of November.
Roy O'Donovan had enjoyed a prolific start to this A-League season with seven goals in his first five games.
But then there were no more and the frustration began.
Injury and suspension - and then inconsistency - hampered the 32-year-old's campaign, just as it had so many individuals involved in the Jets' success.
But when O'Donovan bagged that brace a fortnight ago against his former club in Gosford, the Irishman felt certain it was a sign he'd turned a corner just in time to spearhead the attack in Friday night's home semi-final against Melbourne City.
The blown-out scoreline also told him his team was mirroring his own progress by overcoming a mini-slump featuring three uncharacteristic losses.
"The Mariners were unlucky we were pumped and had a point to prove. It'll be the same this week," O'Donovan said.
"Usually these things come in blocks of good games and performances.
"Definitely the Mariners was a turning point I felt. We've really kicked on, we've got over our flat spot everybody has in a season, even the Barcelonas and Man Citys of this world.
"We're ready to go for the finals now and thankfully it's all come to fruition."
In the same way that it's been eight years since the Jets appeared in an A-League final, O'Donovan hasn't experienced a knockout match since winning the 2014 Singapore League Cup with Brunei DPMM, a year after his Northampton Town were defeated by Bradford City in England's League Two play-off at Wembley.
"All I know is my big-game experience, and that of some of our other players like (Nikolai) Topor-Stanley and (Nigel) Boogaard, will come in handy for us this week because we need as much experience on the pitch as possible," he said.
"Nobody wants to go out in the semi-final, so sometimes the semi-final is more important than the final.
"You really have to put on a performance because you want to be there at the showpiece game at the end."
The Jets are well on track to drawing a bumper home crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium, with about 13,000 members booked in over the weekend and 3000 tickets sold over the first two hours of public sales on Tuesday.