Western Sydney Wanderers have snapped a two-game losing streak after defeating Western United 1-0 in Ballarat.
Making his first Wanderers' start, Jordon Mutch secured the win for the visitors when he seized on a calamitous error from birthday boy Jerry Skotadis deep in United's half, stole the ball and fired past substitute keeper Ryan Scott in the 57th minute.
Having persevered to win despite their ill coach Carl Robinson not making the trip to regional Victoria - the Welshman remaining at the team's hotel in Melbourne - the Red and Black move into third-place on the A-League table.
Their two-game winning-run broken, United remain ninth ahead of a visit to Sydney FC on Wednesday.
It took half an hour rather than occurring pre-game, but United were was also forced into a reshuffle on Sunday when standout goalkeeper Filip Kurto, moments after denying a deflected Graham Dorrans shot, was injured in a goalmouth scramble.
Back-up keeper Scott subsequently entered for just his second A-League appearance.
His first real test arrived in the 49th minute when young Wanderers wing-back Daniel Wilmering thundered a volleyed effort goalward after being picked out by a James Troisi inside the area, forcing Scott to get down low with his legs to keep it out.
The former state-league standout, however, could do nothing to stop Mutch's effort eight minutes later.
United's Dylan Pierias thought he'd equalised in the 65th minute when he created a yard of space from outside the penalty box and shot just wide.
The Wanderers' keeper Daniel Margush produced a strong save to deny Nicolas Milanovic a 91st-minute equaliser after the youngster was found for a close-range header by Alessandro Diamanti.
Substitute Kwame Yeboah had a golden opportunity to seal it up the other end moments later when he hammered a shot off the post, but his miss ultimately didn't cost his side.